President Donald Trump on Tuesday gave a full apology to former officials Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins, who both entered plea agreements to avoid lawsuits over their respective campaign funding and securities fraud

The two Republicans were also among the first in Congress to back Trump when he ran for president

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement announcing Trump’s pardon for the two former members of the House that they were “made at the request of many members of Congress”

Hunter served as California’s 50th representative for three and a half terms District before resigning in January. His resignation came after lengthy ethical and eventual criminal investigations into misuse of campaign funds

Hunter pleaded guilty last December of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money on his own enrichment. His illegal purchases included Lego sets, movie tickets, a family vacation of 14000 USD to Italy and flights for his family’s bunny

In March Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison Report January 4 at the Federal Correctional Institute La Tuna satellite camp in Anthony, Texas

Trump’s apology means Hunter won’t spend time behind bars. Hunter’s pardon is backed by former federal election commissioner Bradley Smith, who believes the crime could have been treated as civil, McEnany said

Collins had reported to prison back in October to serve his 26-month sentence for plotting to commit securities fraud and making false statements to the FBI

Collins was elected for four terms representing a heavily Republican borough in western New York.His arrival at a federal minimum security camp in Pensacola, Florida was delayed four times following his conviction in January due to the COVID-19 pandemic. p>

Trump also converted the remaining jail term of former Texas GOP Representative Steve Stockman, who served two non-consecutive terms from 1995 to 1997 and from 2013 to 2015

Stockman, 64, was convicted of 23 offenses related to charitable contribution abuse in 2018, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, charges included paying off personal credit card debt and a friend’s stay in rehab with funds given to charitable Purposes such as renovating a house on Capitol Hill into a residence for young, Conservative interns. Stockman blamed the “deep state” for his arrest

The White House said he was being released on “humanitarian and compassionate grounds” because he had health problems that put him at risk from the pandemic and that he had contracted COVID-19 while in prison

Trump also pardoned two men convicted in connection with Special Advisor Robert S Mueller’s investigation into the President’s 2016 campaign deals with Russia

Alex van der Zwaan, the first person convicted in the Mueller investigation, was serving a 30-day prison sentence for lying to the FBI about his communication with Rick Gates, Trump’s 2016 deputy campaign manager, and his pardon was dated former rep supported Trey Gowdy, said the White House

George Papadopoulos, a former foreign affairs adviser to Trump, was jailed for 12 days in 2018 for lying to the FBI in the White House press release describing it as a “litigation crime”

A frequent Trump critic, New Jersey Democratic Rep Bill Pascrell called the actions “abuse of forgiveness” in a post on Twitter

“Those idiots may evade justice, but our criminal president should be prosecuted for his crimes next year,” wrote Pascrell

More Trump pardon tonight as Trump has just graced two corrupt convicted congressmen, unrepentant killers and various dirtballsThese idiots may elude justice, but our criminal president should be prosecuted for his crimes next year / BngCxzbqV7

House Democrats have proposed laws that they will hopefully include in the next Congress to combat such abuse Legislation would require the Justice Department to provide information to Congress about selfish pardons, such as a federal pardon about bribery could be a crime and prohibiting the president from pardoning himself

Duncan Hunter, George Papadopoulos

World news – USA – Trump apologizes for ex-representatives Duncan Hunter, Chris Collins – appeal

Source: https://www.rollcall.com/2020/12/22/trump-pardons-ex-reps-duncan-hunter-chris-collins/