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Trump pardons former campaign chairman Paul Manafort

In this Thursday, June 27, 2019 file photo, Paul Manafort arrives in court in New York. President Trump’s former campaign manager is to be arraigned on state mortgage fraud charges. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020 issued pardons and sentence commutations for 29 people, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law, in the latest burst of clemency in his final weeks at the White House.
Seth Wenig, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued pardons and sentence commutations for 29 people, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law, in the latest burst of clemency in his final weeks at the White House.

The actions bring to nearly 50 the number of people whom Trump in the last two days has granted clemency either by pardoning them or by commuting their sentences.

The pardons of Manafort and Roger Stone, who months earlier had his sentence commuted by Trump, underscore the president’s determination to unravel the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and to come to the aid of associates he feels were wrongly pursued.

Trump has now pardoned four people convicted in that investigation, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Manafort had been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for financial crimes related to his work in Ukraine and was among the first people charged as part of Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. He was released to home confinement last May because of coronavirus concerns in the federal prison system.

Manafort, in a tweet, thanked Trump and lavished praise on the outgoing president, declaring that history would show he had accomplished more than any of his predecessors.

Kushner is the father of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and a wealthy real estate executive who pleaded guilty years ago to tax evasion and making illegal campaign donations. Trump and the elder Kushner knew each other from real estate circles and their children were married in 2009.