President Donald Trump pardoned Paul Manafort, Charles Kushner and 24 others in a pre-Christmas spree Wednesday evening.
The group is the second batch of pardons Trump has made in as many day. In total, he granted 39 full pardons and 8 sentence commutations. Kushner, the father of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, was convicted of tax fraud in 2004, among other crimes. He has already completed his sentence. Manafort was convicted on charges uncovered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation in 2018. (RELATED: Bill Barr Delivers Farewell Message On Final Day As Attorney General)
“As a result of blatant prosecutorial overreach, Mr. Manafort has endured years of unfair treatment and is one of the most prominent victims of what has been revealed to be perhaps the greatest witch hunt in American history. As Mr. Manafort’s trial judge observed, prior to the Special Counsel investigation, Mr. Manafort led an otherwise blameless life,” the White House said in a statement.
Manafort thanked Trump for the pardon on Twitter.
Mr. President, my family & I humbly thank you for the Presidential Pardon you bestowed on me. Words cannot fully convey how grateful we are.
— Paul Manafort (@PaulManafort) December 24, 2020
“Since completing his sentence in 2006, Mr. Kushner has been devoted to important philanthropic organizations and causes, such as Saint Barnabas Medical Center and United Cerebral Palsy. This record of reform and charity overshadows Mr. Kushner’s conviction and 2 year sentence,” the White House said of Kushner.
While Manafort is still serving his sentence, he had been transferred to home confinement due to COVID-19 complications in May.
Trump also made the extra step of granting a full pardon to Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to the FBI in relation to the Trump-Russia investigation. Trump had previously commuted Stone’s sentence in July, but the full pardon will expunge the conviction from Stone’s criminal record.
Trump on Tuesday granted pardons to 15 people and commuted the sentences of five others. The notable pardons included George Papadopoulos, a convict from the Trump-Russia investigation; four former Blackwater military contractors, and former GOP Reps. Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter, Trump allies who were convicted on fraud charges during the Trump administration.