World News – USA – Trump apologizes to two Russia investigators and Blackwater Guards

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The pre-Christmas wave of 20 pardons and commutations should not be the last one before Mr. . Trump leaves office on Jan. . 20th.

In a bold pre-Christmas pardon on Tuesday, President Trump granted pardon to two people convicted in the Special Envoy’s Russia investigation, four Blackwater guards convicted of murdering Iraqi civilians, and three corrupt former Republican members of Congress.

It was a remarkable assertion of the pardon power of a president who denied losing his election and may not have until the last few weeks before he left office on Jan.. January will be the start of further elections. 20th.

Mr. . Trump overturned other legal ramifications of an investigation into his 2016 campaign, which he long termed a joke. He graced contractors whose actions sparked international turmoil in Iraq and helped steer public opinion against the war there. And he pardoned three members of his party who had become well-known examples of public corruption.

Among others, George Papadopoulos, who was a foreign policy advisor to Mr.. . Trump’s 2016 campaign and the one who pleaded guilty in 2017, as part of the investigation by Special Envoy Robert S. Having made false statements to federal officials. Müller III.

Also pardoned was Alex van der Zwaan, an attorney who pleaded guilty to the same charge in 2018 in connection with the special commissioner’s investigation. Both men served brief sentences.

According to people close to the president, the pardons related to Müller are a signal for more people to be involved in the investigation.

Mr. . Trump recently hired his former National Security Advisor, Lt. . gene. . Michael T. . Flynn, who pleaded guilty twice, partly because he lied to the F.. B.. . I. in connection with the investigation of Russian participation in the elections. The President reversed Roger J’s judgment in July. Stone Jr. . , his longtime advisor, who has been convicted on a number of charges related to the investigation. Both men have kept their innocence.

Mr. . Trump’s pardon list also included four former U. . S.. . Service members convicted of murdering Iraqi civilians while serving as contractors in 2007.

One of them, Nicholas Slatten, had been sentenced to life in prison after the Justice Department went to great lengths to prosecute him. Mr. Slatten had been a contractor for the private Blackwater company and was convicted of his role in the murder of 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad – a massacre that left one of the most lasting stains of the war in the United States. Among those dead were 10 men, two women, and two boys, who were 8 and 11 years old.

The three former members of Congress by Mr.. Trump were Duncan D.. . Hunter from California, Chris Collins from New York and Steve Stockman from Texas.

Mr. . Hunter was due to serve an 11 month sentence next month. He pleaded guilty in 2019 to misusing campaign funds.

Mr. . Collins, an early endorser of Mr.. . Trump is serving a 26-month sentence after pleading guilty in 2019 to making false statements to the F.. B.. . I. and conspire to commit securities fraud.

Mr. . Stockman was convicted of fraud and money laundering in 2018 and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The president also apologized to two former border guards whose sentences for their role in the shooting of a suspected drug trafficker were previously reported by President George W. had been converted. bush.

The pardons are likely not the last before Mr.. . Trump leaves office on Jan. . 20, and they will no doubt feed the idea that he has aggressively used his pardon power for personal and political ends. The founders gave the president the power to act as the ultimate emergency brake on the criminal justice system to correct the injustices of those who deserve mercy in mercy.

President Trump has discussed possible pardons that could test the limits of his constitutional powers to waive criminal liability. Here is some clarity about his pardon ability.

A table from Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith found that of the 45 pardons or commutations given to Mr.. . Trump had granted until Tuesday, 88 percent supported someone with a personal connection to the president or promoted his political goals.

And by lifting the legal ramifications of convictions in the Russia investigation, Mr.. Trump escalated a long campaign, aided by his resigning Attorney General, William P.. . Barr to the investigation of mr. Müller, discredit the resulting law enforcement actions and punish those who instigated them in the first place.

The White House further erased the legacy of the Mueller investigation in a statement released Tuesday night. The statement noted that Mueller’s investigation « found no evidence of collusion in connection with Russia’s attempts to interfere in the elections, » and referred dismissively to Mr.. Papadopoulos’ crimes as « process related ». ”

Mr. . Papadopoulos, 33, served 12 days in prison for lying to the F.. B.. . I. through his contacts with Russian mediators during the 2016 presidential competition. He later published a book portraying himself as the victim of a Deep State conspiracy to « bring down President Trump. In an interview last month, he welcomed the possibility of grace.

Mr. . van der Zwaan was sentenced to 30 days in prison in April 2018 for lying to investigators for the special adviser’s office about his contacts with a business partner who was allegedly a Russian intelligence officer who was closely related to Mr.. . Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Mr. . Manafort was convicted in 2018 on a number of charges, including tax and banking fraud. He was sentenced to a total of seven years in prison. This year has mr. Manafort was locked in prisons at home for fear of the coronavirus spreading.

Mr. . Manafort had agreed to work with prosecutors and he pleaded guilty to bringing several charges against him, but prosecutors later accused him of misleading them and of being of no use in the investigation. Mr. Manafort’s allies hope that Mr.. . Trump will forgive him.

Two other people convicted in the Russia investigation, sir. Manafort’s Assistant Rick Gates and the President’s former personal attorney Michael D. . Cohen, are viewed as an unlikely candidate for a pardon from Mr.. Trump card. Both men worked on the investigation into the president.

Donald Trump, George Papadopoulos, Duncan D. . Hunter, Republican Party, Special Counsel Inquiry, Robert S.. . Mueller, Chris Collins

World news – USA – Trump apologizes for two Russian investigators and Blackwater Guards
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Ref: https://www.nytimes.com

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