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Trump pardons former campaign chairman Manafort, associate Roger Stone

In total, he issued on Wednesday full pardons to 26 individuals and commuted part or all of the sentences of an additional three people.

By: Reuters | Palm Beach (us) | December 24, 2020 7:35:34 am
Paul Manafort Russian meddling US electionPaul Manafort arrives in court, Thursday, June 27, 2019 in New York. Manafort was convicted as part of the special counsel probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, a real estate developer and the father of Trump’s son-in-law.

Manafort was convicted as part of the special counsel probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Trump had earlier commuted the criminal sentence of Stone, who was convicted of lying under oath to lawmakers.

It was the second wave of pardons Trump has issued in two days and came just after Trump arrived in Palm Beach, Florida, for the holiday season.

In total, he issued on Wednesday full pardons to 26 individuals and commuted part or all of the sentences of an additional three people.

Trump’s pardoning of Manafort spared the long-time Republican operative from serving the bulk of his 7-1/2-year prison term.

Manafort, 70, was among the first in Trump’s inner circle to face charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Stone was convicted in November 2019 by a Washington jury of lying under oath to lawmakers also investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump commuted his sentence in July, a day before Stone was due to begin serving a term of three years and four months.

Kushner, father of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty in 2004 to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making unlawful campaign donations.

In an unusual twist, the man who prosecuted Charles Kushner was Chris Christie, now the former governor of New Jersey, who also has served as an adviser to Trump.

Christie was quoted by CNN as saying Charles Kushner’s case was “one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes” he prosecuted.

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