It was the second wave of pardons and commutations by the president in two days that showed his willingness to use his power aggressively for loyalists

President Trump on Wednesday showed mercy and wiped out convictions and judgments as he aggressively used his power to override courts, juries and prosecutors and apply his own standard of justice to his allies. p>

One pardon recipient was a family member, Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Two other pardons refused to collaborate with prosecutors in connection with the Special Representative’s Russia investigation: Paul Manafort, his 2016 campaign chairman, and Roger J. Stone Jr, his longtime informal advisor and friend

They were the best-known names in a series of 26 pardons and three commutations that the White House named after Mr. Trump went to his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, for the vacation

Also on the list released on Wednesday was Margaret Hunter, the estranged wife of former agent Duncan D Hunter, Republican of California Both pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds for personal expenses

Mr Hunter was led by Mr. Trump on Tuesday as part of a first pre-Christmas wave of pardons sent to 20 convicts, more than half of whom failed to meet Justice Department guidelines for examining pardons or commutations, which included a former Blackwater security guard who, because of his role in the murder of 17 Iraqi civilians were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2007

Of the 65 pardons and commutations Mr Trump had granted before Wednesday, 60 went to petitioners who had a personal bond with Mr Trump or who helped his political goals, according to a chart by Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith Although there are no similar numbers for previous presidents, legal experts say these presidents have given a far lower percentage to those who could help them personally and politically

Mr Trump’s use of his powers to grant mercy to allies and supporters has even been criticized by some Republicans. “This is rotten to the core,” said Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska

The apologies to Mr. Manafort and Mr. Stein on the same day will prick especially for the former special advisor Robert S Müller III and his team

Mr Trump’s attorney at the time, John Dowd, is supposed to discuss the pardon with attorneys for Mr. Manafort in 2017 Mr Manafort was considering working with prosecutors

Prosecutors believed that if there had been a connection between Russian officials and the Trump campaign, Mr. Manafort or Mr. Stone would have known about this, Mr. Trump later expressed his explicit support for Mr. Stone’s refusal to speak to investigators

Some investigators believed that private discussion of pardons and public statements by Mr Trump may have impaired their ability to uncover the facts

The wording of the pardons for Mr. Manafort and Mr. Stone reflected Mr. Trump’s complaints about the Mueller investigation, relating to the “Russian collusion fraud,” the “prosecutor’s misconduct” and the “injustice” “

Mr The 71-year-old Manafort had been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for his role in a decade-long, multi-million dollar financial fraud program for his work in the former Soviet Union

Mr Stone, 68, whose 40-month sentence was previously served by Mr. Trump maintained his innocence, insisting that there was prosecutorial wrongdoing.He was convicted on seven counts of lied to Congress, manipulated witnesses and obstructed the House’s investigation into possible coordination of the Trump campaign with Russia p>

Mr Kushner’s pardon was one of the most anticipated of the Trump presidency’s father-in-law of the President’s older daughter, Ivanka Trump, Mr. Kushner’s prison sentence was a burning event in his family’s life

Mr In 2004, 66-year-old Kushner pleaded guilty to 16 tax evasion cases, a single case of retaliation against a federal witness, and a case in which he lied to the federal election commission in a case that was also a blatant family drama and he sat two Years in prison before he was released in 2006

The witness he retaliated against was his brother-in-law, who along with his wife, Mr. Kushner’s sister worked with federal officials on a campaign funding investigation against Mr. Kushner

In his informed consent, Mr. Kushner admitted that he had a prostitute seduced his brother-in-law in a New Jersey motel room that had video cameras installed, and Mr. Kushner then had the videotape sent to his sister

The case was pursued by the then U S Attorney Chris Christie, a longtime Trump friend who later became New Jersey Governor. Last year, Mr. Christie said Charles Kushner had committed a “heinous” and “disgusting” crime

Jared Kushner worked at the White House on overhaul efforts in the criminal justice field, partly because, allies said, he was marked by his father’s time behind bars and he had a strained relationship with Mr. Christie helped him for years, his role in making the transition almost immediately after Mr. Trump’s surprising election victory in 2016

Among the other recipients of the pardon announced by the White House on Wednesday were Mark Shapiro and Irving Stitsky, who received 85 years in prison for their role in a real estate investment scam involving Mr. Trump

Your case was held up by some advocates of the conviction overhaul as an example of the large differences between the penalties offered in pleading agreements and those imposed after legal proceedings, Mr Shapiro had been offered a plea with sentences ranging from five to seven years, and Mr Stitsky made a deal with a sentence of seven to nine years

Her pursuit of commutation was supported by a number of groups and individuals who influenced Mr. Trump on pardon, including Alice Johnson, whose life sentence on drug charge was commuted by the president in 2018 at the insistence of supporters like Kim Kardashian

Others who received pardons or commutations included a former K-9 police officer serving a 10-year prison sentence, the White House said for releasing their dog for a badly bitten burglar suspect, and two former employees of Conrad Black, the former media baron found guilty of fraud and disability in 2007 and approved by Dr Trump in 2019

At the pardon of Mr. Manafort and Mr. Stein, Mr. Trump continued to be involved in the work of the Mueller investigation, which the President and his outgoing Attorney General William P Barr, have attacked Mr Trump in the past two years, had already pardoned or commuted the sentences of three others, those of Mr Mueller’s office, including two on Tuesday

The President has long complained that the investigation was a “witch hunt” and a “hoax” and pressured Mr. Barr, some of the officials he held responsible for it, including Joseph R.to prosecute Biden Jr, former President Barack Obama and James B Come on, the FB.I director Mr. Trump fired

Mr Barr, whose last day in office was Wednesday, has repeatedly criticized Mr Trump of the investigation and ordering an investigation into her origin, but to the President’s frustration, he did not prosecute anyone for it prior to last month’s election

Mr Barr had also attempted to reduce the verdict on Mr. Stein and to reverse the guilty guilty of Michael T Flynn, the President’s first national security adviser

But Mr. Barr assisted law enforcement against Mr.Stein while Mr. Trump commuted Mr. Stones’ verdict in July and pardoned Mr. Flynn last month

President Trump has discussed possible pardons that could test the limits of his constitutional powers to waive criminal liability. Here’s some clarity on his pardon

The president has long publicly questioned the prospect of pardons for employees involved in an investigation Critics argued that this was an attempt to convince them of any violations by Dr Trump

Even when he agreed to work with the Special Adviser’s Office, Mr. The Manafort Principal Attorney Kevin M Downing, went on to inform Mr. Trump’s personal attorneys, an unusual arrangement that raises questions about which side Mr. Manafort was on

Some of Mr. Downing’s public statements also appeared to be aimed at generating sympathy for Mr. Manafort of West Wing Mr Downing said repeatedly that prosecutors in the case had no evidence that the Trump campaign had conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 elections, although possible links to Moscow sabotage were outside the purview of the trial / p>

Mr Trump repeatedly expressed his condolences to Mr. from Manafort, who describes him as a brave man who was ill-treated by the special envoy’s office, according to Mr. Manafort was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in a conspiracy case in March 2019 The President said, “I feel very bad for Paul Manafort”

Mr Manafort was released early from prison in May due to the coronavirus pandemic and instead locked up at home

Mr Manafort has no legal problems, and a case in New York has not yet been fully resolved

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance jr, incriminated Mr. Manafort with mortgage fraud and more than a dozen other state crimes in March 2019 to ensure he continues to be prosecuted should Mr Trump forgive him, finally, presidential pardons apply only to federal, not state, laws
However, in December of that year, a New York trial judge ruled the charges are in breach of the Double Endangerment Act, a ruling that was upheld by an appeals court earlier this October

Mr Vance’s office, which has sought permission to appeal the ruling to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, said in a statement Wednesday evening that the President’s apology from Mr Manafort makes it clear that the state fees will be upheld should

Other presidents have made extensive use of grace in their final days in office, sometimes benefiting political allies or people close to them

President Bill Clinton pardoned or commuted the sentences of more than 175 people on his last day in office in 2001, including his half-brother Roger Clinton, who had been convicted of drug charges, and his former Whitewater business associate, Susan H. McDougal, who was imprisoned for refusing to work with Ken Starr’s team investigating the president

But Mr. Clinton was particularly badly criticized for apologizing to Marc Rich, a financier who fled the United States to avoid tax burdens, and whose ex-wife, Mr. Mr., donated large sums to Clinton’s future presidential library

Among those who are particularly angry at the pardon from Mr. Reich was Rudolph W Giuliani, who had been the U S. Attorney whose office is Mr. Reich and is now the President’s personal attorney “He never paid a price,” said Mr. Giuliani said about Mr. Reich

in 2001

After President George Bush lost his re-election in 1992, he pardoned former Secretary of Defense Caspar W Weinberger and five others who were attacked by prosecutors in the Iran-Contra scandal Mr. Bush was convinced that a new indictment against Mr. Weinberger, which was the President’s report on his own actions, which was published days before the election, was in question helped seal his defeat Independent attorney Lawrence E Walsh accused Mr. Bush of a “cover-up” ”

Such actions were sharply criticized at the time as abuse of power and in Mr. Clinton’s case was even investigated for signs of wrongdoing

However, a president’s pardon under the Constitution is extensive and usually does not require the approval of any other part of the government.Some legal scholars have argued that the corrupt use of pardon, for example in response to a bribe or to obstruct justice, is a Could be a crime that has never been investigated

The small number of presidential pardons given to those who had not been convicted was usually tied to a national event that a president wanted to bring behind the country, like the Nixon presidency or the Vietnam War

Charles Kushner

World News – US – Trump gives mercy to more allies, including Manafort, Stone and Charles Kushner

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/23/us/politics/trump-pardon-manafort-stone.html