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Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Charles Kushner among those pardoned by Trump - ABC News

3liteDragon

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued a second batch of pardons in as many days, this time forgiving the crimes of two former associates, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, as well as Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.

The latest list grants 26 full pardons and commutes all or part of the sentence of three additional individuals, after Trump on Tuesday issued 15 pardons and five commutations.

Wednesday's list also includes several people recommended by former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who was part of Trump's impeachment defense team, and Ike Perlmutter, the former CEO of Marvel Entertainment and a member of the president's private Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, according to a statement from the White House.

Less than 24 hours before Wednesday's announcement, Trump granted pardons to a group that included two former Republican members of Congress, two targets of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, and four military contractors convicted in the 2007 killing of more than a dozen unarmed Iraqi civilians -- a move that could upend U.S. policy in the region.

In past administrations, late-term pardons have hardly been uncommon. President Barack Obama, for example, in his final months in office granted hundreds of pardons, mostly to those who committed nonviolent drug-related offenses.

But the nature of Trump's controversial executive actions -- which have overwhelmingly benefitted his friends and loyalists -- have attracted the ire of his administration's political foes.

Ahead of this week's announcements, Trump had already granted pardons to several close friends and political backers over the course of his presidency. Earlier this year, the president pardoned Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser, and commuted the sentence of Roger Stone, a longtime friend and confidant -- both of whom were indicted by Mueller in the Russia probe.

Past presidents have also taken advantage of sweeping powers to pardon friends and associates in their final weeks in office. President George H.W. Bush, for example, issued pardons to several Reagan-era officials caught up in the Iran-Contra scandal prior to his departure from office. On his last day in office, President Bill Clinton granted clemency to Marc Rich, a fugitive businessman whose ex-wife was a longtime Clinton donor.

But critics say Trump has gone further than his predecessors. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a frequent critic of the Trump administration, accused the president on Tuesday night of "doling out pardons, not on the basis of repentance, restitution or the interests of justice, but to reward his friends and political allies."
Here are some of the notable pardons on Wednesday's list:

Former Trump 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort received the toughest sentence of any Trump associate entangled in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Manafort, who has a long roster of foreign clients and has worked for many Republican presidential candidates -- including George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan -- was charged and found guilty of multiple counts of false income tax returns, failure to file reports of foreign bank accounts, and bank fraud related to activity from before he joined the Trump campaign. He was sentenced by a federal judge to seven years but was released to home confinement in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 as the campaign's convention manager. He served as Trump's campaign chairman from May 2016 until he resigned in August 2016.

"Mr. President, my family and I humbly thank you for the Presidential Pardon that you bestowed on me today. Words cannot adequately convey how grateful we are," Manafort said in a statement following the pardon. "History will record that your Presidency accomplished more in 4 years than any of your modern-day predecessors. You truly did 'Make America Great Again.'"

Veteran GOP political operative Roger Stone -- a decades-long friend and former campaign adviser to Donald Trump -- had his 40-month prison sentence commuted in July by the president, days before he was scheduled to report to a federal penitentiary. The self-described political "dirty trickster" was charged and convicted on a seven-count indictment of obstructing justice, witness tampering and multiple counts of lying to Congress in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Trump's full pardon nullifies Stone's conviction entirely.
"On behalf of my family and myself, I wish to praise God and give my deepest thanks to President Donald J. Trump for his extraordinary act of justice in issuing me a presidential pardon, " Stone said in a statement following the announcement.

Charles Kushner, the father of President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, pleaded guilty in 2005 to tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign contributions. He was sentenced to two years in prison but served only 14 months of that term. A nasty argument between Charles Kushner and his brother Murray led to charges of violations of campaign-finance rules as part of the same case. That led prosecutors to open an investigation into Charles' conduct. Charles then tried to keep his sister from cooperating with prosecutors by setting up her husband with a prostitute, recording the encounter, and then threatening her with it. But that backfired when the sister handed over the tape. The elder Kushner had been one of the New York-New Jersey area's leading Democratic donors and a key backroom political player in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Former California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter's ex-wife Margaret cooperated with the U.S. Attorney's office in the prosecution of her husband on charges that he misused $250,000 in campaign donations for personal expenses such as family vacations and oral surgeries. Hunter, who was sentenced to 11 months in prison in March, was pardoned by Trump on Tuesday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Halpern, who helped prosecute Hunter, blasted Trump following Tuesday's announcement, saying, "As a person who cares about equality, I'm disgusted by Trump's apparent failure to pardon Hunter's former wife, Margaret -- who admitted her guilt and cooperated with the United States to bring Hunter to justice."

Jesse Benton is a Kentucky political operative who married into the family of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and was convicted in 2016 on charges tied to campaign finance violations. Benton and an associate, John Tate, were involved in an effort to pay bribes to an Iowa state senator in exchange for the lawmaker's endorsement for Ron Paul's 2012 presidential bid. Both men were handed a six-month home confinement and two years of probation. Tate was also pardoned on Wednesday.
 
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Punished Miku

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Just a little nod to his pardoning of convicted war criminals.

I'm honestly not that familiar with the case, so I'm not flipping out or anything. But it definitely caught my eye, and makes me want to research it. We spent a very large amount of money and man-hours sending the FBI to Iraq to investigate the crime scene during an active war, lots of lawyer-hours as well, and they actually successfully convicted them. Like I said, I'm admitting up front that I don't know the details surrounding the evidence and testimony against them - but the fact that they actually were convicted seems extremely surprising, given the tendency to not prosecute police or military for this kind of thing. The system definitely typically leans towards not convicting.

It's described by witnesses as Iraq's "bloody Sunday." Machine gun fire and grenade launchers against civilians in an intersection.

I'll be looking for opinions on this one from Jeremy Scahill, one of the only journalists I still respect, co-founder of the Intercept with Glenn Greenwald, and author of a book on Blackwater.
 
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Punished Miku

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Why the fuck would he pardon a bunch of Blackwater thugs?
The owner of Blackwater is Betsy Devos' brother. I'm sure he's been getting lobbied on this for a while.

Because he's a terrible, rotten, no good bully.
Well a court successfully convicted them, so your snark is not really cutting it. It's a legitimate question.
 
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Punished Miku

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Most likely pure ignorance and defiance of those he sees as his detractors.
Not an admirable way to wield pardon powers. At best, ignorance is still a painful explanation for family members of the victims.

The FBI literally was collecting evidence for this case overseas in an active warzone. Lots of people worked on this famous incident.
 
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Dacon

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Not an admirable way to wield pardon powers. At best, ignorance is still a painful explanation for family members of the victims.

The FBI literally was collecting evidence for this case overseas in an active warzone. Lots of people worked on this famous incident.

I ain't defending this, just saying he most likely has no idea what he did. People suggest things to him and he assumes those people have his interests at heart and that he can just trust whatever without actually educating himself.

He's the same guy who banned Critical Race Theory without actually learning what it was, and couldn't elucidate why it was bad when questioned on it, because he didn't know. He probably saw someone on social media criticizing it and just went with it.

He definitely has a bad habit of looking at things on a surface level, which many have exploited to his, and our detriment.
 
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Punished Miku

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I ain't defending this, just saying he most likely has no idea what he did. People suggest things to him and he assumes those people have his interests at heart and that he can just trust whatever without actually educating himself.

He's the same guy who banned Critical Race Theory without actually learning what it was, and couldn't elucidate why it was bad when questioned on it, because he didn't know. He probably saw someone on social media criticizing it and just went with it.

He definitely has a bad habit of looking at things on a surface level, which many have exploited to his, and our detriment.
For sure, I wasn't directing it at you. Barely talked to you, but actually you seem like a super cool dude from my brief interaction with you!

I tried to frame it as a bad way to use the privilege of pardon powers (Trump's responsibility). You might be right though. Multiple reporters have described the president as fickle and easily persuadable, often changing his opinion on a dime based on the last person who talked to him. It's both a pro and a con. Pro: he's not deeply ideological and can actually push for more left policies than even Sanders is ($2000 direct COVID payments) in addition to multiple far right policies. Con: uninformed (easy to manipulate).
 
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DeepBreath87

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How many of them were for helping cover up crimes Obama committed to get elected?
The same number as Trump. (It’s zero, the answer is zero)

Seriously. You’re worse than the voter fraud people. It’s been 4 years. You found no real crimes. It’s time to let go.
 
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Thaedolus

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Trump pardons actual murderers of children- let's compare it to fictional villains OMG HILARIOUS.


The same number as Trump. (It’s zero, the answer is zero)

Seriously. You’re worse than the voter fraud people. It’s been 4 years. You found no real crimes. It’s time to let go.

I'll just point out that Trump pardoned all the guys who refused to testify against him and none of the ones that did, including his attorney that named him as a co-conspirator in election finance crime. Ignore it if you want but it happened.
 

infinitys_7th

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Trump pardons actual murderers of children- let's compare it to fictional villains OMG HILARIOUS.




I'll just point out that Trump pardoned all the guys who refused to testify against him and none of the ones that did, including his attorney that named him as a co-conspirator in election finance crime. Ignore it if you want but it happened.

If only Mueller had found anything in that unprecedented three year investigation without any limits.
 

Punished Miku

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As opposed to the actual killing of women and children by ordering drone strikes right? That’s totally defensible.
I don't even know what you're saying. So pardoning the Blackwater killings = US drone strike killings (Chelsea Manning) .... what?
 

infinitys_7th

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As opposed to the actual killing of women and children by ordering drone strikes right? That’s totally defensible.

The way I see it, these mercenaries were just tools of the military. Bush, Cheney, and his DoD should be culpable for what they did. But Retard Man Good and his co-conspirators good even though the blood is all over their hands too.

They are just manipulated tools like Vietnam vets were.
 
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Roger Stone's arrests is one of the fishiest photo ops of corrupt deep state history.
There's precisely zero reason for an early morning SWAT raid with CNN choppers in the air to arrest some old guy in front his wife.

Like the Waco situation, they could have just grabbed him when he went to check the mail.

Hindsight is a bitch since when know the entire Russia probe was horseshit.
 

Weiji

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The way I see it, these mercenaries were just tools of the military. Bush, Cheney, and his DoD should be culpable for what they did. But Retard Man Good and his co-conspirators good even though the blood is all over their hands too.

They are just manipulated tools like Vietnam vets were.
These guys are assholes of the highest order. But no more or less then the faggot ass losers that sit in a bunker watching a computer screen and pushing the murder button because Obama, Bush or whoever the fuck told them too.

Where are their charges? Or those for the people who say “push it”?
 

DeepBreath87

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Trump pardons actual murderers of children- let's compare it to fictional villains OMG HILARIOUS.




I'll just point out that Trump pardoned all the guys who refused to testify against him and none of the ones that did, including his attorney that named him as a co-conspirator in election finance crime. Ignore it if you want but it happened.
You can point out whatever you want. You’re feel to imagine whatever crimes you desire. But I hope you realize that you and the voter fraud crowd have a lot in common.
 

Thaedolus

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You can point out whatever you want. You’re feel to imagine whatever crimes you desire. But I hope you realize that you and the voter fraud crowd have a lot in common.

Did I imagine that Cohen was sentenced to prison for a crime he admitted to and named Trump as a co conspirator to? No, I didn’t, at a bare minimum Trump committed a campaign finance crime to get elected and time will tell how many more
 

infinitys_7th

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He did, and specifically called out how the investigation was hampered by destruction of evidence and people refusing to testify. Did you read his report or any analyses of it?

Excuses, excuses. "If we just had another year on top of our already incredibly long investigation, surely we would put Drumpf in prison! If we just had incriminating evidence that definitely exists!"

Literally Democrats' Benghazi, except substantially more thoroughly investigated. Same excuses.
 

Thaedolus

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Excuses, excuses. "If we just had another year on top of our already incredibly long investigation, surely we would put Drumpf in prison! If we just had incriminating evidence that definitely exists!"

Literally Democrats' Benghazi, except substantially more thoroughly investigated. Same excuses.

Again, he DID find substantial evidence of multiple counts of obstruction of justice, laid out the case for each count, and handed it over to congress to deal with as he felt he had no power to prosecute a sitting president. You literally don’t know what you’re talking about
 
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Punished Miku

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Excuses, excuses. "If we just had another year on top of our already incredibly long investigation, surely we would put Drumpf in prison! If we just had incriminating evidence that definitely exists!"

Literally Democrats' Benghazi, except substantially more thoroughly investigated. Same excuses.
Iraq War started in 2003 (illegally). There are 17 year olds that have never known a United States not at war.
 

infinitys_7th

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Did I imagine that Cohen was sentenced to prison for a crime he admitted to and named Trump as a co conspirator to? No, I didn’t, at a bare minimum Trump committed a campaign finance crime to get elected and time will tell how many more

That is not how that works. Cohen pled guilty, so it was never tried, and Trump have committed a crime is independent of Cohen having committed one depending on intent. Trump can claim it was done to protect his family and personal reputation.
 
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Russian collusion was a hoax that US taxpayers paid over $25m for.
Amazing how much time and money has been spent trying to make something to stick to the president and nothing has stuck.
Four years of a daily barrage by the left, the media, and all of the useful idiots in BLM and Antfa.


It's like he kicked a rat's nest in 2016 and the rats are mad.
 

infinitys_7th

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Again, he DID find substantial evidence of multiple counts of obstruction of justice, laid out the case for each count, and handed it over to congress to deal with as he felt he had no power to prosecute a sitting president. You literally don’t know what you’re talking about

Yet Mueller and his team collaborated on, and thus agreed with, Barr's summary that nothing was illegal.

Who gives a shit anyway? There was no collusion, and that was the only legitimate issue being investigated.
 

Thaedolus

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Yet Mueller and his team collaborated on, and thus agreed with, Barr's summary that nothing was illegal.

Who gives a shit anyway? There was no collusion, and that was the only legitimate issue being investigated.
Mueller and his team were so upset at Barr’s summary that Mueller himself sought to correct the record and did so publicly as strongly as he could have. What alternate timeline did you go through?
 
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infinitys_7th

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These guys are assholes of the highest order. But no more or less then the faggot ass losers that sit in a bunker watching a computer screen and pushing the murder button because Obama, Bush or whoever the fuck told them too.

Where are their charges? Or those for the people who say “push it”?

I've talk to a few Vietnam vets who did shit as ghastly as this - flying captured Vietcong hanging from helicopters low through forests, killing civilians and burying them in pig carcasses to hide them, etc.

Putting people in these situations numbs them, changes them. And then those who changed for the worse the worst get recruited into these mercenary groups. So what does that make the people who intentionally use them?
 
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Moneal

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Mueller and his team were so upset at Barr’s summary that Mueller himself sought to correct the record and did so publicly as strongly as he could have. What alternate timeline did you go through?
 

infinitys_7th

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Mueller and his team were so upset at Barr’s summary that Mueller himself sought to correct the record and did so publicly as strongly as he could have. What alternate timeline did you go through?

Yet he admitted that it was accurate on release and that he and his team approved it. His blithering testimony before congress didn't change that either.

Why would they approve something then pretend to be upset about it later? It's not a difficult question.
 

infinitys_7th

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Did they not murder kids?

Just like Obama and Bush. So they should be fine to run for Congress.

Besides, culpability for war crimes is supposed to go up the CoC, not stay with the mooks. At least, that's what we heard when the pearls got clutched over Salami (even though he committed a war crime in attacking an embassy).
 
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