Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday granted pardons to 20 people, including two convicted of the Russian plot and three former Republican congressmen involved in corruption.
Trump also granted pardons to four contractors of the private military company Blackwater implicated in the murder of 14 civilians in Iraq in 2007. One of them, Nicholas Slatten, was serving a life sentence.
The highest profile pardon is that of George Papadopoulos, who was a foreign affairs advisor to Trump’s 2016 campaign and who pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents as part of the investigation into the Russian plot led by Robert Mueller.
The outgoing president also pardoned Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who pleaded guilty to the same charges as Papadopoulos.
Papadopoulos served 12 days in jail and Van der Zwaan 30.
The three pardoned former Republican congressmen are Duncan Hunter of California, Chris Collins of New York, and Steve Stockman of Texas.
Stockman was serving a 10-year sentence for money laundering, Collins was serving a 26-month sentence for stock fraud, and Hunter was about to go to prison for 11 months for embezzlement of campaign funds.
Days ago, Trump pardoned his former National Security advisor, General Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Kremlin.
It had been rumored for days that Trump would have to leave power on January 20 with a package of Christmas pardons.
In fact, the pardons are an indicator that even though Trump has not acknowledged his defeat in the November election to Democrat Joe Biden, he is aware that he will have to leave power.
Among those pardoned, however, none of Trump’s closest collaborators, such as his family members or his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, are listed at the moment, as had also been rumored.