US President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening announced 26 new pardons, including ones for longtime ally Roger Stone, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner, father of senior White House adviser and son-in-law of the President Jared Kushner, CNN reports.
Manafort and Stone were both indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller who investigated Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections, went to trial and were convicted by juries of multiple crimes.
Manafort, who is serving home confinement, initially agreed to cooperate with Mueller and then lied to prosecutors. He spent close to two years in prison for bank and tax fraud, illegal foreign lobbying and witness tampering conspiracies before being released because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stone’s sentence for obstruction of Congress and threatening a witness was commuted by Trump earlier this year.
Charles Kushner had been prosecuted by then-US Attorney for New Jersey Chris Christie in the early 2000s for tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign contributions.
He eventually pleaded guilty to 16 counts of tax evasion, one count of retaliating against a federal witness and another count of lying to the Federal Election Commission.
Wednesday night’s pardons are the second such wave. On Tuesday, Trump pardoned, among others, former campaign aide George Papadopoulos, former US congressman Chris Collins, and the four Blackwater guards involved in the Iraq massacre.