The shockingly long list of corrupt officials and political allies pardoned by Trump - 2020-12-22
Donald Trump on Tuesday added another batch of names to the long list of friends, loyalists, cronies, and conservative celebrities who have received presidential pardons or commutations. This time, the beneficiaries included three corrupt former members of Congress—Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), and Steve Stockman (R-Texas)—and two men, George Papadopoulos and Alex van der Zwaan, who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators as part of the Trump-Russia Scandal.
Trump also pardoned four former security contractors—Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard—who had been convicted for their roles in the 2007 killings of Iraqi civilians. The four men were employees of Blackwater, the company founded by Erik Prince, the brother of Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Trump also pardoned Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, former border patrol agents who were convicted in the 2005 shooting of an alleged drug smuggler.
Trump's use—and abuse—of executive clemency has figured prominently in his presidency. One widely discussed Trump 2020 campaign ad, aired during the Super Bowl, featured Alice Johnson—a Black woman who served 21 years in prison for a nonviolent drug offense before Trump commuted her sentence in 2018. "Thanks to President Trump, people like Alice are getting a second chance," the ad stated. On Tuesday, Trump granted clemency to several women who served time with Johnson.