President Trump pardons former campaign chairman Paul Manafort

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President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walk towards Marine One as they depart the White House en route to Mar-a-Lago, the President’s private club, where they will spend Christmas and New Years Eve in Washington, DC on December 23, 2020. – President Donald Trump has thrown a long-awaited pandemic relief package into doubt days before millions of Americans will lose their benefits and face eviction from their homes. (Photo by Samuel Corum / AFP) (Photo by SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued pardons and sentence commutations for 29 people, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law.

The actions bring to 49 the number of people who Trump in the last two days has granted clemency either through pardons or sentence commutations.

The pardons of Manafort and Roger Stone, who months earlier had his sentence commuted by Trump, underscore the president’s determination to use the power of his office he final weeks to unravel the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and to come to the aid of associates he feels were wrongly pursued.

Trump has now pardoned four people convicted in that investigation, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Manafort had been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for financial crimes related to his work in Ukraine and was among the first people charged as part of Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. He was released to home confinement last May because of coronavirus concerns in the federal prison system.

Manafort, in a tweet, thanked Trump and lavished praise on the outgoing president, declaring that history would show he had accomplished more than any of his predecessors.

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. Trump and the elder Kushner knew each other from real estate circles and their children were married in 2009.

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