Trump issues series of pardons, including Russia probe figure George Papadopoulos

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Updated: Dec 23, 2020, 07:36 AM(IST)

A file photo of Former US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The pardons came at the recommendation of Trump allies in Congress and, in some cases, the conservative media.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday pardoned 15 people, including Republican allies, a 2016 campaign official accused of involvement in the Russia probe and former government contractors convicted in a 2007 massacre in Baghdad.

The pardons also included George Papadopoulos, a former campaign aide who pleaded guilty as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump also pardoned former Republican Reps Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York.

The pardons came at the recommendation of Trump allies in Congress and, in some cases, the conservative media.

Papadopoulos, 33, was an advisor to Trump's 2016 campaign. He pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to FBI agents about the timing and significance of his contacts with people who claimed to have ties to top Russian officials.

Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing campaign funds. Collins, the first member of Congress to endorse Trump to be president, was sentenced to two years and two months in federal prison.

Also included in the batch announced on Tuesday are Alex van der Zwaan, the Dutch lawyer who was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to lying to Mueller investigators; two Border Patrol agents convicted in 2006 of shooting and wounding an unarmed undocumented immigrant and then covering it up; and several people convicted of non-violent drug crimes serving lengthy sentences.

Trump also reduced the sentences of three women -- Crystal Munoz, Tynice Nichole Hall and Judith Negron -- convicted of drug crimes at the recommendation of Johnson, who has worked on behalf of other inmates after the President commuted her own sentence. 

Trump later granted Johnson a full pardon at this year's Republican National Convention.

Last month, Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation. The Flynn pardon drew condemnation from Democrats and other critics.
In July, Trump commuted the sentence of longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone, sparing him from prison after he was convicted of lying under oath to lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

(with inputs)

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