Continuing where he left off the other day, President Donald Trump issued 26 more pardons Wednesday. These include associates Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and Charles Kushner. The new pardons are well within the scope of the President’s office. In fact, most Presidents issue controversial pardons as their terms wind down. For Trump, it seems more pardons happen, often helping business associates and friends. In fact last Wednesday, Trump pardoned 15 people Tuesday and commuted the sentence of 5 others.
RELATED: Trump Unleashes A Flurry of Pardons
Paul Manafort and Roger Stone
Among the prominent citizens pardoned yesterday was Paul Manafort, a former Trump campaign manager, who received a seven and a half years sentence for seven felony counts related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Trump’s Russian ties. Beginning March, Manafort is serving his sentence at home due to precautions on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stone, a longtime friend, and ally of the President, already enjoyed a commutation of his sentence in July. This newest action consists of a full pardon for his charges, including lying under oath and witness tampering.
Meanwhile, Manafort, who is also serving home confinement, admitted his crimes and initially cooperated with Mueller. He did take back his offer to cooperate and spent nearly two years in prison for bank and tax fraud, illegal foreign lobbying, and witness tampering conspiracies.
Two other prominent personalities in the Mueller investigations, campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and Lawyer Alex Van der Zwaan, were among those pardoned by Trump the other day. Both also faced charges of lying before the investigation panel.
Charles Kushner, the father of White House Adviser Jared Kushner, received sentences for tax evasion, witness tampering, and illegal campaign contributions. He pleaded guilty to 16 counts of tax evasion, a count of retaliating against a federal witness, and another one lying to the Federal Election Commission.
Kushner became famous for concocting an elaborate plot to get back at his brother-in-law, William Schulder. The latter turned federal witness to bolster tax evasion charges against the former. Kushner hired a prostitute to have sex with Schulder and videotaped the encounter. Then, he sent the video to Schulder’s wife.
More Pardon Recipients
Other recipients of the Trump pardon list for Wednesday included Margaret Hunter. She is the wife of former California GOP Rep Duncan Hunter, who also received a pardon the other day. The Hunters received sentences for their misuse of campaign funds. Margaret pleaded guilty last year to being Duncan’s co-conspirator.
In addition, 22 other individuals received pardons for lesser-profile cases. These involved individuals who ran afoul of the law. Cases include cybercrime, firearm possession, and mail fraud. Also, Trump commuted the sentences of three other people.
Backlash from Democrats
Expectedly, Democrats criticized the wave of pardons coming from the White House. Senator Chris Murphy (Ct) tweeted that “It’s time to remove the pardon power from the Constitution.” He wrote that “Once one party allows the pardon power to become a tool of criminal enterprise, its danger to democracy outweighs its utility as an instrument of justice.”
Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon warned the public of more pardons. He said this is “just the tip of the iceberg of the damage Donald Trump will do to our democracy in his remaining days as president.” Also, he tweeted that “Every Senate Republican who has enabled his escalating abuse of power for the last 4 years is responsible for this.”
No Pardon For Michael Cohen
Meanwhile, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” remains in jail. He fell out of favor with Trump when he decided to cooperate with the investigation. Then, he pointed out how broken the whole criminal justice system is. He tweeted “Despite me and family being threatened by @POTUS @realDonaldTrump, I still cooperated with a dozen federal/state agencies, Mueller, Congress…and all these criminals receive #pardons. This is wrong!”
View the CNN Breaking Report covering President Donald Trump’s latest pardons, including Roger Stone, Steve Manafort, and Charles Kushner:
Do you think that the President should continue having the power to issue pardons? Or, should lawmakers think about changing the system to prevent systemic abuse? Let us know what you think. Drop us a line in the comment section below.