(WXMI) — Ahead of Christmas, President Donald Trump gave the gift of pardon to more than 40 people in just two days.
Some are his close associates who were prosecuted during the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion, which the president has called a hoax.
The list includes former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort who is serving 7 and a half years after pleading guilty to multiple charges.
And former adviser and friend Roger Stone, who’s sentence was commuted by the president earlier this year. Stone was convicted of obstruction and witness tampering in 2019.
The president also pardoned Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in law Jared. He was convicted and eventually pleaded guilty for tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions, and witness tampering.
"Donald Trump isn't surprising us anymore. What he does is always and only in his self-interest. So he is rewarding people who he regarded as being useful to him. That of course is legal under our constitution. It's not even close to what the pardon power was designed to do." Rep. Jim Himes, D-CT said.
Another pardon is garnering more attention here in our area than elsewhere.
Former Michigan Congressman Mark Siljander received a full pardon from the president. He spent a year in prison for obstruction of justice and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.
Siljander, served southwest Michigan in Congress for six years before being primaried by current Representative Fred Upton, R- St. Joseph in 1986.
Upton tweeting Tuesday that he was stunned and “beyond disappointed” with the president’s decision to pardon Siljander.
I am beyond disappointed the President used his pardon authority on Mark Siljander, who accepted a plea bargain and lesser charges and still served a year in federal prison after having been indicted with a series of federal crimes including obstruction of justice, money...— Fred Upton #WearYourMask (@RepFredUpton) December 24, 2020
“I wish the president would instead focus his energy on helping the millions of families and small businesses ravaged by the pandemic,” Upton added.
...laundering, and lobbying for an international terrorist group with ties to Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban. Just stunned. I wish the President would instead focus his energy on helping the millions of families and small businesses ravaged by the pandemic.— Fred Upton #WearYourMask (@RepFredUpton) December 24, 2020
When issuing his pardon, President Trump says since serving time in prison, “Siljander has devoted himself to traveling in the Middle East and Africa to promote peace and mutual understanding.”