United States President Donald Trump has issued pardons for Paul Manafort and Roger Stone for their involvement in Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, for which they were convicted following Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Charles Kushner, father to Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, was also pardoned for tax evasion, a crime he pleaded guilty for in 2004. It is the second consecutive day that Trump has pardoned several of his political allies.
Stone was convicted for lying to Congress during its investigation into Russian interference in November 2019. Manafort, Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, was convicted for fraud and tax violations in 2018.
“This is rotten to the core,” Republican Senator Ben Sasse said in a statement about the Trump pardons, according to The Hill.
The statement by Sasse said that “felons like Manafort and Stone” had “flagrantly and repeatedly violated the law and harmed Americans.”
Trump issued Manafort with a “full and complete pardon”, according to White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, as reported by The Hill, who argued that the convictions were based on the premise of the Russian collusion hoax”.
Trump had also previously pardoned Micheal Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, ensuring that all of his allies involved in the alleged case of election interference will not see any time behind bars.
Trump also issued pardons to Rep. Mark Siljander and Topeka Sam. Siljander was convicted of obstruction of justice and has already served a year of his prison sentence. Sam, on the other hand was recommended by criminal justice reform advocate, Alice Johnson. Sam served three years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.