Donald Trump on Tuesday issued 15 pardons and 5 commutations to a variety of corrupt individuals including two who lied to investigators in the Russian probe, former GOP congressman accused of financial crimes, and Blackwater contractors who shot Iraqi civilians, including two children.
The Washington Post reports: “Trump gave a full pardon to George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to his 2016 campaign who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during its Russia investigation. … Trump also pardoned Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyer who had worked with Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort in work related to Ukraine and pleaded guilty in 2018 to lying to Mueller’s team. He served 30 days in prison before returning to his home in London.”
CNN adds: “He also spared guards from the Blackwater private security firm, founded by a political supporter, Erik Prince. The guards had unleashed sniper fire, machine guns and grenades on innocent men, women and children in Iraq in 2007.”
The NYT adds: “The three former members of Congress pardoned by Mr. Trump were Duncan D. Hunter of California, Chris Collins of New York and Steve Stockman of Texas. Mr. Hunter was set to begin serving an 11-month sentence next month. He pleaded guilty in 2019 to one charge of misusing campaign funds. Mr. Collins, an early supporter of Mr. Trump, had been serving a 26-month sentence after pleading guilty in 2019 to charges of making false statements to the F.B.I. and to conspiring to commit securities fraud. Mr. Stockman was convicted in 2018 on charges of fraud and money laundering and had been serving a 10-year sentence.”