Washington, Dec 23 (efe-epa).- The United States’ outgoing president Donald Trump on Wednesday granted full pardons to Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as to his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and longtime advisor Roger Stone.
All three are included on a list of 29 people pardoned by Trump, who on Tuesday had granted clemency to another 20 people in an apparent pre-Christmas campaign to reward loyalists before he leaves office.
Kushner, 66, served two years in prison after pleading guilty in 2004 to 16 crimes of tax evasion, one of retaliation against a federal witness and another for lying to the Federal Election Commission.
Kushner’s full pardon was one of the most anticipated since his conviction left a deep mark on the family of Jared Kushner, husband of Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka.
Stone, 68, whose sentence had already been commuted by Trump, also received a full pardon. He was sentenced to 40 months for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of a congressional investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.
Also given a full pardon was Manafort, 71, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for various financial crimes, including unregistered lobbying, tax fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.
Manafort, who was Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, served two years in jail before being placed under house arrest in May due to Covid-19 risks.
“Mr. President, my family & I humbly thank you for the Presidential Pardon you bestowed on me. Words cannot fully convey how grateful we are,” Manafort tweeted Wednesday night.
“History will record that your Presidency accomplished more in 4 years than any of your modern-day predecessors. You truly did ‘Make America Great Again.’ God Bless you & your family. I wish you a Merry Christmas & many good wishes for the coming years,” he added.
Wednesday’s pardons come 24 hours after Trump granted clemency to two others convicted in the Russia investigation, four Blackwater guards implicated in the murder of civilians in Iraq and three corrupt former Republican congressmen.
One of the former congressmen was Duncan Hunter, convicted of misuse of campaign funds and whose ex-wife, Margaret Hunter, also convicted, received a full pardon on Wednesday.
The pardons are an indicator that even though Trump has not acknowledged his defeat in the November elections against Democrat Joe Biden, he is aware that he will have to leave power on Jan. 20. EFE-EPA