Trump issues batch of 11th-hour pardons

Source: Politico | December 22, 2020 | Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein

Those receiving pardons include several indicted former members of Congress, players in the Russia scandal, and military contractors convicted for illicit killing in Iraq.

President Donald Trump issued a series of pre-Christmas pardons and commutations Tuesday, granting clemency to the former campaign operative whose 2016 activities triggered the FBI probe that led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, to three former Republican congressmen and to four security contractors convicted for massacring Iraqi civilians in 2008.

Trump’s pardons included his first two congressional endorsers, former Rep. Chris Collins — convicted on charges related to insider trading — and former Rep. Duncan Hunter, who pleaded guilty to flagrant campaign finance abuses, including some to support extramarital affairs. Collins was already serving a 26-month sentence. Hunter had yet to begin his 11-month term.

Some of Trump’s actions seemed intended to send a clear message, such as disapproval of Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, while the pardons to Collins and Hunter appeared to simply be rewards for their political loyalty.

Trump also commuted the sentence of former Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), who was convicted in 2018 on a variety of fraud and money laundering charges. Stockman had served two years of a 10-year sentence.

Others, including a few for people convicted of drug offenses, are part of a modest number of clemency grants Trump has offered to convicts whose cases were pursued by prominent criminal justice reform advocates. Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, issued far more in those sorts of cases and actively solicited clemency applications.

Trump’s decision to pardon George Papadopoulos, whose early-2016 interactions with a Russia-linked professor led the FBI to launch the counterintelligence investigation into Trump’s campaign, follows a roller coaster for the young operative.


Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Discussion
  • Consistent #45619

    Consistent #45620

    Consistent #45621

    Consistent #45622

    Consistent #45623

    Consistent #45624

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.