President Trump went on a holiday pardon on Tuesday, announcing he would grant pardons to the first two members of Congress for approving it in his first presidential election, two people convicted in Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russia and four Blackwater Guards convicted of massacre of Iraqi civilians, among a host of others.
In total, Trump granted 15 pardons and commuted five sentences.
The Blackwater guards were convicted of their role in the murder of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007. One of the Blackwater guards pardoned by Trump, Nicholas Slatten, was convicted of the first degree murder of a civilian unarmed Iraqi man, Ahmed Al Rubia’y, and sentenced to life in prison by the Justice Ministry in 2019.
George Papadapoulous, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign who pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal investigators in the Mueller inquiry, also received a pardon. Alex van der Zwaan, also convicted of lying similarly to the office of the special adviser, was also pardoned.
The two former members of Congress, Representatives Chris Collins (R-NY) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA), respectively pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit securities fraud and abusing funds from the countryside.
A third former congressman, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), was also part of Tuesday’s blitz, with President Trump commuting the remaining eight years of his 10-year sentence for fraud and money laundering.
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