Trump gives out 20 pardons and commutations to Russia inquiry figures, a Blackwater Guard, fellow corrupt politicians, and more

Donald Trump issued 20 pardons and commutations, just before Christmas. They are are not likely to be the last before he is scheduled to leave the White House on January 20.

Three former members of Congress were pardoned by Trump today: Duncan Hunter of California, Chris Collins of New York and Steve Stockman of Texas. Hunter was due to report for an 11-month prison sentence, starting in January.

From the New York Times:

Among those pardoned was George Papadopoulos, who was a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump's 2016 campaign and pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to federal officials as part of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

Also pardoned was Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who pleaded guilty to the same charge in 2018 in connection of the special counsel's inquiry. Both men served short prison sentences.

The Mueller-related pardons are a signal of more to come of people caught up in the investigation, according to people close to the president.

(…) Mr. Trump's pardon list also included four former U.S. service members who were convicted of killing Iraqi civilians while working as contractors in 2007.

One of them, Nicholas Slatten, had been sentenced to life in prison after the Justice Department had gone to great lengths to prosecute him. Mr. Slatten had been a contractor for the controversial company Blackwater and was sentenced for his role in the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad — a massacre that left one of the most lasting stains on the United States of the war.

More at the New York Times.