- Dec 11, 2018
NEWS - Trump pardons Stone, Manafort, Charlie Kushner. Story TK.
From @nytmike and me on Trump's latest chipping away at the Mueller probe and use of his pardon power for allies and friends in his final weeks https://nytimes.com/2020/12/23/us/politics/trump-pardon-manafort-stone.html
President Trump doled out clemency to a new group of loyalists on Wednesday, wiping away convictions and sentences as he aggressively employed his power to override courts, juries and prosecutors to apply his own standard of justice for his allies.
One recipient of a pardon was a family member, Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Two others who were pardoned declined to cooperate with prosecutors in connection with the special counsel’s Russia investigation: Paul Manafort, his 2016 campaign chairman, and Roger J. Stone Jr., his longtime informal adviser and friend.
They were the most prominent names in a batch of 26 pardons and three commutations disclosed by the White House after Mr. Trump left for his private club in Palm Beach, Fla., for the holiday.
Also on the list released on Wednesday was Margaret Hunter, the estranged wife of former Representative Duncan D. Hunter, Republican of California. Both of them had pleaded guiltyto charges of misusing campaign funds for personal expenses.
The pardons for Mr. Manafort and Mr. Stone reflected Mr. Trump’s grievances about the Mueller investigation, referring to the “Russian collusion hoax,” “prosecutorial misconduct” and “injustice.”
Mr. Manafort, 71, had been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for his role in a decade-long, multimillion-dollar financial fraud scheme for his work in the former Soviet Union.
Mr. Stone, 68, whose 40-month prison sentence had previously been commuted by Mr. Trump, has maintained his innocence and insisted there was prosecutorial malfeasance. He was convicted on seven counts of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House inquiry into possible Trump campaign coordination with Russia.
Mr. Kushner’s pardon has been one of the most anticipated of the Trump presidency. The father-in-law of the president’s older daughter, Ivanka Trump, Mr. Kushner’s prison sentencewas a searing event in his family’s life.
Mr. Kushner, 66, pleaded guilty in 2004 to 16 counts of tax evasion, a single count of retaliating against a federal witness and one of lying to the Federal Election Commission. He served two years in prison before being released in 2006.
The witness he was accused of retaliating against was his brother-in-law, whose wife, Mr. Kushner’s sister, was cooperating with federal officials in a campaign finance investigation into Mr. Kushner. Mr. Kushner was accused of videotaping his brother-in-law with the prostitute and then sending it to his sister.