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Trump pardons more over Russia probe

December 24, 2020

US President Donald Trump has pardoned two more people implicated in the Russia probe as well as the father of his son-in-law Jared Kushner. It comes amid a flurry of presidential pardons.

Donald Trump
Image: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/ newscom/picture alliance

US President Donald Trump pardoned several more people on Wednesday amid a flurry of presidential pardons.

Former campaign manager Paul Manafort, associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, father of his son-in-law Jared Kushner all received pardons.

Manafort was convicted as part of the special probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election. He was charged with conspiracy against the United States, making false statements, and money laundering. He was sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

Manafort thanked the president in a tweet, saying, "words cannot fully convey how grateful we are."

Stone had been convicted of lying under oath to lawmakers. Trump's pardon comes after he commuted Stone's 40-month prison sentence.

Charles Kushner was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making unlawful campaign donations in 2004. He was prosecuted by Chris Christie, former New Jersey Governor who also served as a Trump adviser.

Trump issued pardons and sentence commutations for 23 other people on Wednesday. The president has now granted clemency for 49 people in the past two days. Trump pardoned four Blackwater guards on Tuesday who were convicted of killing Iraqis.

It is common for outgoing US presidents to issue pardons in the final weeks of their respective terms. Previous president Barack Obama granted clemency to hundreds of individuals on his final day in office, primarily people arrested on drug charges. Trump is set to leave office on January 20, 2021.

kbd/aw (AP, Reuters, dpa)