In his latest round of presidential pardons, US President Donald Trump has pardoned former 2016 campaign figures Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, as well as Charles Kushner, a real estate developer and father to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Manafort, a political consultant, chaired Trump's campaign team from June to August 2016. He later became a person of interest in the Russiagate probe and was convicted of a slew of financial crimes related to money from his political consulting in Ukraine. However, his sentence was increased after he was found in violation of his plea deal by lying to federal investigators. In May, he was released into home detention due to COVID-19 concerns.
Stone, who served as an informal adviser to Trump's campaign but falsely presented himself as a go-between for the campaign and WikiLeaks, previously had his sentence commuted by Trump in July. Stone was convicted of lying to Congress about his purported conversations with WikiLeaks and its co-founder, Julian Assange, as well as for having coached comedian Randy Credico before Credico's own congressional testimony on the subject.
Kushner, however, was never part of the Trump campaign. The father-in-law of Trump's daughter, Ivanka, Kushner served 24 months in 2005 and 2006 for illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering. The convictions caused him to be disbarred in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, preventing him from practicing law. According to Politico, he donated $100,000 to Trump's Make American Great Again PAC in 2015.
On Tuesday, Trump also pardoned another figure from his 2016 presidential campaign: George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser who featured prominently in the Russiagate investigation and later pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his interaction with a mysterious Maltese professor named Josef Mifsud. Another, Alex van der Zwaan, was convicted as part of the Russiagate investigation for lying to the FBI during its investigation of Manafort, for which he served 30 days in prison and was fined $20,000, being subsequently deported to the Netherlands after finishing his sentence.