President Donald Trump on Wednesday granted pardons to 26 people, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, longtime supporter Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, who is the father of Jared Kushner, a White House adviser and Trump’s son-in-law.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced the pardons with a statement on the White House website.

McEnany said Manafort was pardoned after “convictions prosecuted in the course of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, which was premised on the Russian collusion hoax.”

Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager for a few months in 2016, was convicted for financial crimes linked to his overseas lobbying work that predated his connection with the campaign by several years.

“Mr. Manafort has already spent two years in prison, including a stretch of time in solitary confinement — treatment worse than what many of the most violent criminals receive. As a result of blatant prosecutorial overreach, Mr. Manafort has endured years of unfair treatment and is one of the most prominent victims of what has been revealed to be perhaps the greatest witch hunt in American history,” McEnany’s statement said.

Manafort expressed his appreciation on Twitter, saying, “Mr. President, my family & I humbly thank you for the Presidential Pardon you bestowed on me. Words cannot fully convey how grateful we are.”

McEnany noted that Trump had earlier commuted the prison sentence handed down to Stone, who had been sentenced to 40 months in prison for lying to the House Intelligence Committee.

“Due to prosecutorial misconduct by Special Counsel Mueller’s team, Mr. Stone was treated very unfairly,” McEnany said. “He was subjected to a pre-dawn raid of his home, which the media conveniently captured on camera. Mr. Stone also faced potential political bias at his jury trial. Pardoning him will help to right the injustices he faced at the hands of the Mueller investigation.”

Stone appeared Wednesday night on the Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to thank the president for his action.

“I have an enormous debt of gratitude to God Almighty for giving the president the strength and the courage to recognize that my prosecution was a completely politically motivated witch hunt,” Stone said. “And my trial was a Soviet-style show trial in which the judge denied us any powerful line of defense, in which the judge, we now know, hid exculpatory evidence from us.

“Because I knew on Election Day, when no one was watching, the Justice Department released the last remaining redacted sections of the Mueller report in which they admitted that they had no evidence whatsoever of my colluding with Russia, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, trafficking in emails.”

He added, “The whole thing has been an outrage, and my hat is off to the president, the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln, who had the courage to correct this injustice.”

Stone said he was punished because prosecutors wanted him “to bear false witness against the president, and I refused to do so.”

“They must have mistaken me for Michael Cohen,” he said, referring to Trump’s former attorney who cooperated with prosecutors investigating the president. “But they had the wrong guy and I refused to do this.

“Now the left invents a totally new canard, which is ‘Stone traded his silence regarding misconduct by the president in return for commutation of his sentence and now a pardon.’ That is a lie. There is no corroboration or evidence to prove that. It is the typical rewriting of history by the left.”

Cohen objected on Twitter that he was not pardoned.

“What happened tonight shows how broken the whole criminal justice [system] is,” Cohen tweeted. “Despite me and family being threatened by @[email protected], I still cooperated with a dozen federal/state agencies, Mueller, Congress…and all these criminals receive #pardons. This is wrong!”

Trump also issued a raft of pardons Tuesday that included former Republican Reps. Chris Collins of New York and Duncan Hunter of California as well as former campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who was caught up in the Russia investigation.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.



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