US President Donald Trump granted Tuesday full pardons to 15 individuals and commuted part or entire sentences of another five individuals.
Among those pardoned are George Papadopoulos and Alex van der Zwaan, both convicted of making false statements to the FBI as part of the Mueller investigation. The White House emphasized that these were “process-related crimes” and claimed that the pardon of Papadopoulos “helps correct the wrong that Meuller’s team inflicted on so many people.”
Several of the pardons involved individuals convicted of crimes of violence in the “line of duty.” Four American veterans serving as Blackwater security contractors in Iraq were convicted of murder and manslaughter for the killing of 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007. The pardon statement alleges that the prosecutors “relied heavily on [an Iraqi investigator who] may have had ties to insurgent groups himself.”
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, former Border Patrol agents, were sentenced to 11 and 12 years’ imprisonment, respectively, for unlawfully shooting an undocumented person who was smuggling marijuana into the US. President George W. Bush commuted their sentences in 2009; Trump granted them a full pardon.
Other notables on the list include Alfred Lee Crum, who received a full pardon. Crum pled guilty in 1952 to helping with an illegal moonshine distillery in Oklahoma. He served three months’ probation and paid a $250 fine. Alfonso Costa, a Pittsburgh dentist, convicted of healthcare-related fraud in 2008, received a full pardon after serving two years of probation and paying nearly $300,000 in fines and restitution. Costa’s pardon was supported by US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson.
The president also pardoned several Republican supporters. Duncan Hunter, a former representative from California, was sentenced to 11 months’ imprisonment for misusing campaign funds. Chris Collins, a former congressman from New York, received a 26-month sentence for securities fraud and making false statements to the FBI. Former Texas congressman Steve Stockman had the remainder of his 10-year sentence commuted. He was convicted of misusing charitable funds in 2018. Phil Lyman, a former Utah County commissioner, was sentenced to 10 days in prison for riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in Recapture Canyon, in defiance of a Bureau of Land Management ATV ban. Trump granted Lyman a full pardon.
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