Trump pardons former campaign chair Paul Manafort, father of son-in-law Charles Kushner and friend Roger Stone

U.S. President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday issued pardons to Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman, Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law and Roger J. Stone Jr., his longtime informal adviser and friend.

Charles Kushner is the father of Jared Kushner, the husband of President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

In all, Trump issued pardons and sentence commutations for 29 people on Wednesday, bringing to 49 the number of people the president has granted clemency in the past two days.

Manafort and Stone declined to cooperate with prosecutors in connection with the special counsel’s Russia investigation, and Trump seemed to be rewarding them for standing with him.

Trump also pardoned Margaret Hunter, the estranged wife of former Representative Duncan D. Hunter, Republican of California. Mr. Hunter was pardoned by Mr. Trump on Tuesday on his first batch of pardons. Both of them had pleaded guilty to charges of misusing campaign funds for personal expenses.

Trump granted 26 pardons and three commutations on Wednesday before he left for his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, for the holiday.

On Tuesday, Trump granted clemency to 20 convicts, more than half of whom did not meet the Justice Department guidelines for consideration of pardons and commutations.

Those pardoned on Tuesday included a former Blackwater guard sentenced to life in prison for his role in the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007.

According to a tabulation by the Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith, of the 65 pardons and commutations that Mr. Trump granted before Wednesday, 60 have gone to petitioners who had a personal tie to Mr. Trump or who helped his political aims.

The New York Times noted that “although similar figures do not exist for previous presidents, legal experts say that those presidents granted a far lower percentage to those who could help them personally and politically”, adding that “the pardons for Mr. Manafort and Mr. Stone on the same day will be particularly stinging for the former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team” who investigated the Trump campaign ties to Russia during the 2016 election.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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