WASHINGTON (AP) — For a second night in a row, President Donald Trump issued a round of pardons and commutations in the final weeks of his presidency, giving full pardons to his former campaign chairman, his son-in-law’s father and another of his allies convicted in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation .
The list also included people whose pleas for forgiveness have been promoted by those supporting the president throughout his term in office, including conservative media personalities and Republican lawmakers. A look at the 29 people granted pardons or clemency on Wednesday.
PAUL MANAFORT: Manafort was Trump’s former campaign chairman and was among the first people to be charged in Mueller’s investigation, which examined possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election campaign. He was released from a low-security federal prison in May to serve his sentence on home confinement due to concerns about the coronavirus. Prior to his release, he had been jailed since June 2018 and was serving more than seven years in prison following his conviction.
Manafort was prosecuted in two federal courts and was convicted by a jury in federal court in Virginia in 2018 and later pleaded guilty in Washington. He was sentenced last March and was immediately hit with state charges in New York after prosecutors accused him of giving false information on a mortgage loan application. A New York judge threw out state mortgage fraud charges, ruling that the criminal case was too similar to one that already landed Manafort in prison. Prosecutors appealed that ruling last month.
From the archives (February 2019): Manafort broke plea deal by lying to Mueller investigators, FBI and grand jury
ROGER STONE: Stone has been a longtime friend and ally of the president. He was also convicted in Mueller’s investigation for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.
Trump commuted his sentence in July just days before he was scheduled to report to federal prison. On Wednesday, he issued Stone a full pardon.
Pardoning Manafort and Stone — founders four decades ago of the political consulting firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly and, like Trump, acolytes of the New York lawyer lawyer Roy Cohn — underscores the president’s lingering rage over Mueller’s investigation and is part of a continuing effort by the president to rewrite the narrative of a probe that shadowed his presidency for two years.
CHARLES KUSHNER: 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. The two knew each other from real estate circles and their children were married in 2009. Trump issued him a full pardon on Wednesday.
Kushner, who is from New Jersey, pleaded guilty to 18 counts that also included witness tampering and was sentenced in 2005 to two years in prison, but emerged to resume his career in real estate and his company Kushner Cos. purchased the famed Watchtower complex along the Brooklyn Bridge, the former headquarters for the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Kushner was also a major Democratic donor, and agreed to pay $508, 900 to the Federal Election Commission after he violated contribution regulations by failing to obtain an OK from partners to whom more than $500,000 in campaign contributions were attributed. But he donated more than $100,000 to Trump’s 2015 campaign.
MARGARET HUNTER: Hunter is the wife of former U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, who Trump pardoned on Tuesday. Along with her husband, she was also convicted of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds and was sentenced to three years of probation. Her husband, a Southern California Republican, had pleaded guilty to stealing about $150,000 from his campaign funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle, from vacations to outings with friends, private school tuition and his daughter’s birthday party.
JOHN TATE AND JESSE BENTON: The men were top staffers on Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign and convicted in 2016 of causing false records and campaign expenditure reports to be filed to the Federal Election Commission. Prosecutors said Tate, Benton and a third campaign official tried to hide $73,000 in payments to former Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson for his endorsement of Paul. They argue that they broke no laws when they concealed the payments through a third-party campaign vendor.
The White House said the pardons were supported by a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and by Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky who is also the son of Ron Paul.
STEPHANIE MOHR: The former Maryland police officer was convicted in 2001 of violating a homeless man’s civil rights by letting her police dog attack him even though he had surrendered. Prosecutors said after the man had surrendered, Mohr released her police dog and the canine bit into the man’s leg, requiring ten stitches. Mohr, the first canine handler in the Prince George’s County police force, served 10 years in prison.
She was convicted of violating the man’s civil rights under the color of authority; another officer who faced trial in the case was acquitted.
GARY BRUGMAN: The former U.S. Border Patrol agent was convicted of striking and violating the civil rights of a man who had crossed the U.S. border illegally. Court records said Brugman and other Border Patrol officers had stopped a group of people who crossed the border illegally and during the encounter, he struck one of the men with his foot, pushing him to the ground and then hit the man with his hands.
The man later filed a complaint when he was in custody at a Border Patrol station. Brugman had worked as a Border Patrol agent for four years in Eagle Pass, Texas.
He served 27 months in prison. The White House said his pardon was supported by several Republican members of Congress and conservative media personalities, including Laura Ingraham, Sara Carter, Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs, along with former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who also was convicted of a federal crime and pardoned by Trump.
MARY MCCARTY: McCarty, a former county commissioner in Palm Beach County, Fla., was issued a full pardon on Wednesday. She was convicted of a federal criminal charge for honest services fraud.
When she was convicted, prosecutors said she had misused her position as a county commissioner to “personally enrich herself, her husband, and their associates through a series of municipal bond transactions” and by receiving gifts and gratuities from people doing business with the Board of County Commissioners.