Trump hands out 20 pardons, commutations in pre-Christmas blitz

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President Trump on Tuesday granted clemency to 20 convicted felons — including pardons for two men who lied to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, the White House said.

The Pre-Christmas blitz of forgiveness also included pardons for two crooked former members of Congress and a commuted sentence for a third.

Pardons also went to four military contractors convicted in the massacre of 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007 and two former Border Patrol agents who covered up the shooting of an unarmed illegal immigrant.

Several people convicted of non-violent drug crimes, including some serving lengthy sentences, received pardons or commutations.

In all, Trump handed out 15 pardons and five commutations, the White House said.

The Mueller-related pardons of George Papadopoulos, a 2016 Trump campaign aide, and Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyer, brought to four the number of people the president has granted clemency in connection with the Russia probe, which he repeatedly labeled a political “witch hunt.”

Last month, Trump pardoned former national security adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI and he earlier commuted the sentence of former 2016 campaign adviser Roger Stone, just days before the start of his prison sentence.

Former US Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), a key Trump ally who pleaded guilty in an inside-trading scheme, and former US Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who pleaded guilty to stealing campaign funds, both received full pardons.

In both cases, Trump responded to requests from “many” members of Congress, the White House said.

Trump also commuted the sentence of former US Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), who was convicted of misusing charitable funds and contracted COVID-19 in prison.

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