President Trump issued 26 more pardons on Wednesday, granting clemency to individuals including former campaign chairman
Paul Manafort,
longtime adviser
Roger Stone
and
Charles Kushner,
his son-in-laws father.The announcement comes a day after the president pardoned 15 others, including a former campaign adviser, three former congressmen and several former military contractors convicted of wartime killing of Iraqi civilians.Messrs. Stone and Manafort played instrumental roles in the presidents political rise. Both men were charged as part of former Special Counsel
Robert Muellers
Russia investigation. The elder Mr. Kushner served more than two years in prison during the 2000s.
Mr. Manafort was charged and convicted by a Virginia jury in August 2018 of not paying taxes on more than $16 million in income he earned advising Russia-aligned politicians in Ukraine in the early 2010s, and of lying to two banks from which he sought loans in 2015.
Mr. Manafort also pleaded guilty in Washington to two counts of conspiracy against the U.S. and conspiracy to obstruct justice. He was sentenced in March 2019 to a total of 7½ years in prison for his federal offenses. Mr. Manafort is also facing New York state charges on mortgage fraud and other charges, so a presidential pardon wont end his legal woes. A New York state appeals court ruled earlier this year that prosecutors couldnt bring those charges but a subsequent appeal is still under way.
In a statement Wednesday, White House press secretary
Kayleigh McEnany
said Mr. Manafort had endured years of unfair treatment. Mr. Manafort tweeted: Mr. President, my family & I humbly thank you.
Mr. Manafort was released from federal prison in May due to coronavirus concerns. He had served about two years incarcerated and was set to spend the rest of his sentence in his Northern Virginia home.
The president pardoned Mr. Stone, a longtime friend and political adviser, after commuting his sentence in July, days before Mr. Stone was set to report to prison. He was convicted in federal court last year of making false statements, witness tampering and trying to impede a congressional investigation into Russian election interference, and was sentenced to 40 months in prison.
Ms. McEnany said pardoning Mr. Stone will help to right the injustices he faced at the hands of the Mueller investigation.
Mr. Kushner, the father of senior White House adviser
Jared Kushner,
pleaded guilty in 2004 to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations in a case prosecuted by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a longtime Trump adviser. He was sentenced to two years in prison and served 14 months.
The elder Mr. Kushner was accused of hiring a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, videotaping their encounter and sending it to his sisterwho was considering testifying in a continuing criminal trial. Mr. Christie called it one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes he had prosecuted as a U.S. attorney.
Ms. McEnany said the elder Mr. Kushner, since finishing his sentence, had been devoted to important philanthropic organizations and causes and that his record of reform and charity overshadows his conviction.
In 2018, Mr. Kushner told the New York Times, I would prefer not to have a pardon, saying it would lead to more publicity.
Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at Rebecca.Ballhaus@wsj.com and Byron Tau at byron.tau@wsj.com
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