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Trump pardons more allies, including Kushner’s father and Paul Manafort

US president pardons or commutes sentences of 50 people in 2 days as his White House tenure draws to a close

Paul Manafort arrives in court in New York, June 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Paul Manafort arrives in court in New York, June 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump issued a new raft of pardons on Wednesday for allies including the father of his son-in-law Jared Kushner, adding to a long list he has granted in his waning days in office.

In addition to the pardon for Charles Kushner, Trump pardoned his 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort and longtime ally Roger Stone, the White House said in a statement.

They were among 26 people pardoned and three who had all or part of their sentences commuted on Wednesday by Trump.

The actions bring to nearly 50 the number of people whom Trump in the last two days has granted clemency either by pardoning them or by commuting their sentences. On Tuesday pardoned 15 people and commuted sentences for five.

Tuesday’s list included two people linked to the probe into alleged collusion between his campaign and Russia and four Blackwater security guards convicted over the 2007 killing of 14 Iraqi civilians.

Those pardons drew outrage, and Wednesday’s actions were likely to do the same.

Real estate developer Charles Kushner pleaded guilty to charges including tax evasion and witness tampering in 2004.

His pardon had been expected by many, given his family connection. Jared Kushner is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka and is a senior adviser to the outgoing president. Trump and the elder Kushner knew each other from real estate circles and their children were married in 2009.

Charles B. Kushner, flanked by his wife, Seryl Beth, left, and his attorney Alfred DeCotiis, right, arrives at the Newark Federal Court for sentencing in Newark, New Jersey, March 4, 2005. (AP Photo/Marko Georgiev, File)

Manafort was among those convicted in connection with the Russia collusion investigation, while Stone was convicted of lying to Congress and obstructing a congressional probe into the role of Russia in the 2016 election.

The pardons of Manafort and Stone, who months earlier had his sentence commuted by Trump, underscore the president’s determination to use the power of his office in the final weeks to unravel the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and to come to the aid of associates he feels were wrongly pursued.

Trump has now pardoned four people convicted in that investigation, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Manafort had been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for financial crimes related to his work in Ukraine and was among the first people charged as part of Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. He was released to home confinement last May because of coronavirus concerns in the federal prison system.

Manafort, in a tweet, thanked Trump and lavished praise on the outgoing president, declaring that history would show he had accomplished more than any of his predecessors.

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