Trump issues batch of pardons and commutations. List includes allies convicted in Mueller probe

Trump issues batch of pardons and commutations. List includes allies convicted in Mueller probeDecember 23, 2020

President Donald Trump granted 15 full pardons and commuted the sentences of five others on Tuesday, including allies convicted under the special counsel Robert Mueller probe, nonviolent drug offenders, and a man who was busted running moonshine in the 1950s as a teen.

What are the details?

White House press secretary Kaleigh McEnany issued the news in a statement, spelling out the reasoning behind each action and disclosing details of the offenses and who recommended clemency to the president.

The most high-profile names on the list included George Papadopoulos, a 2016 campaign adviser for Trump who served 12 days in prison after pleading guilty to lying to investigators in the Russian collusion investigation and later wrote a book about his account called “Deep State Target.”

A second Mueller target, Alex van der Zwaan, who served 30 days in prison for a false statement charge before leaving the U.S., was also pardoned by the president, Politico reported.

Other noteworthy pardons were for former Republican congressmen Duncan Hunter (Calif.), whom Roll Call reported pleaded guilty to misusing “hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds for his own enrichment,” and former Rep. Chris Collins (N.Y.), who pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges. Both representatives were among the first to endorse the president when he ran for president.

The Daily Caller pointed out the the president’s pardons included four former Blackwater Worldwide military contractors — Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard — “who were convicted in a 2007 massacre that left 14 unarmed Iraqis dead.”

At the recommendation of Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), state Utah Rep. Phil Lyman was wiped clean of his “conviction on charges of leading an illegal ATV protest on federal lands,” and “a Utah music producer who was originally sentenced to 55 years in prison on a marijuana charge selling and gun possession conviction because of minimum sentencing rules,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

President Trump also took the advice of Alice Johnson — whom he pardoned following her speech to the Republican National Convention after commuting her nonviolent sentence in 2018 — in commuting the remaining supervised releases of Crystal Munoz and Tynice Nichole Hall, who were also previously condemned to decadeslong nonviolent drug offenses.

Alfred Lee Crum, 89, was also granted a full pardon by the president on Tuesday. According to McEnany’s release, Crum:

Pled guilty in 1952—when he was 19 years old—to helping his wife’s uncle illegally distill moonshine in Oklahoma. Mr. Crum served three years of probation, and paid a $250 fine. Mr. Crum has maintained a clean record and a strong marriage for nearly 70 years, attended the same church for 60 years, raised four children, and regularly participated in charity fundraising events.

Anything else?

According to the Associated Press:

Trump has granted about 2% of requested pardons in his single term in office — just 27 before Tuesday’s announcement. By comparison, Barack Obama granted 212 or 6%, and George W. Bush granted about 7%, or 189. George H.W. Bush, another one-term president, granted 10% of requests.

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