President Trump Awards Presidential Medal Of Freedom To Coach Lou Holtz
Getty Images

Who are the 15 people to whom Trump granted a presidential pardon?

Here’s everything you need to know about everyone whose criminal records the president has wiped clean.

In some cases, that means they will no longer have to carry out the remainder of their sentence; for others, who have served it already, it will clear their record.

Duncan Hunter

Who: Republican representative for California between 2013 and 2022.

While in office he voted against renewing provisions to investigate violent crimes against women and in favour of defining marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman. He does not believe climate change is caused by humans. 

Crime: campaign finance violations.

Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison after it was revealed he spent campaign funds on five extramarital affairs as well as clothes, video games and air fare for his family’s rabbit. He had not begun his sentence at the time of his pardoning. 

Chris Collins

Who: Republican representative for New York between 2013 and 2019.

Collins has a history of making derogatory comments about other politicians. He called Mitt Romney a “self-serving egomaniac” and compared Jewish Democrat Sheldon Silver to Hitler and the antichrist (he later apologised).

Crime: insider trading and lying to the FBI.

Collins was sentenced to just over two years in prison for using knowledge he gained as a public official to benefit a biopharmaceutical company he had a significant financial interest in. He also pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his activities. He had not completed his sentence at time of pardoning. 

George Papadopoulos

Who: Trump campaign advisor.

Trump initially described Papadopoulos as an “oil and energy consultant” working on his 2016 presidential campaign and an “excellent guy”. After his arrest, Trump insisted he was in fact a “low-level volunteer”

Crime: lying to the FBI.

Papadopoulos made headlines as the first Trump affiliate to be sentenced as a result of the Mueller probe.

He served 12 days in prison before being placed on a year-long supervised release after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about his contact with Russia during the election.

Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard

Who: perpetrators of the Nisour Square massacre

The four men worked as security guards for Blackwater (now called Academi), a private military company that provides services to the US government on a contractual basis.

Crime: Murder; manslaughter.

The men were among 19 Blackwater security guards contracted to protect an American diplomatic convoy in Baghdad in 2007.

Slatten was the first to open fire on civilians in Nisoor Square without provocation; the other men followed suit, later claiming they mistakenly believed they were under attack.

At least 14 people were killed including two children. Iraqi authorities put the figure at 17.

Slatten was sentenced to life in prison for murder, while Slough, Liberty and Heard were initially sentenced to 30 years in prison for manslaughter but these were reduced. Their sentences were not complete at the time of pardoning. 

Alex Rolf van der Zwaan

Who: attorney.

Van der Zwaan worked at the London branch of the New York-based law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. There, he assisted Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs with their business matters until being fired.

Crime: Lying to investigators.

He was sentenced to 30 days in prison and fined $20,000 for lying to Special Council investigators and the FBI about his contact with a Trump advisor and a person tied to Russian military intelligence.

Alfonso Costa

Who: dentist and developer.

A friend and business associate of one-time Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson, Costa began his career as a dentist before branching out into real estate development.

Crime: healthcare fraud.

He was sentenced to two years of probation and paid $300,000 in fines and restitution for billing insurance companies thousands of dollars for dental work that was never completed.

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compeán

Who: former United States Border Patrol agents.

Both men were working as patrol agents during the 2000s.

Crime: Serious bodily injury and assault; firing a gun in relation to a violent crime

While patrolling the US-Mexico border in 2005, Compeán shot at someone he suspected to be a drug smuggler attempting to make a crossing. He later claimed to believe that the man, who was indeed later identified as a marijuana smuggler, was armed and would shoot him first. He missed, but his partner Ramos shot and injured the man in an attempt to defend his partner. They did not check up on him afterwards and filed a false incident report.

Ramos was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison and Compeán to 11, but these were commuted by George Bush. Their pardoning was recommended to Trump by Duncan Hunter in 2017 who, like them, received a pardon this year.

Alfred Lee Crum

Who: private citizen of Oklahoma.

Crum is 89 years old. He has been married for nearly 70 years and is a regular church-goer.

Crime: making moonshine.

Crum was 19 when, in 1952, he paid a $250 dollar fine and served three years’ probation for helping his wife’s uncle illegally distil moonshine (alcohol). His request for a pardon was supported by two Oklahoma attorneys.

Weldon Angelos

Who: music producer and convicted cannabis dealer.

Angelos worked with artists like Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.

Crime: selling cannabis.

Angelos was sentenced to 55 years in prison for selling cannabis to a police informant. A witness to the transaction claimed he had a gun strapped to his body and as such he was sentenced with the mandatory minimum for dealers who carry firearms. There was no further evidence, such as photos, to support the witness’s claim.

His lengthy sentence was protested by celebrities, business leaders and former prosecutors. He was released after serving 13 years.

Philip Lyman

Who: Republican representative for Blanding, Utah.

Lyman is a Mormon and certified accountant.

Crime: trespassing.

Lyman paid $96,000 in restitution and served 10 days in jail for misdemeanour trespassing after he led a protest of around 50 quad bikes through the Recapture Canyon. He was opposed to the bikes being banned in the area, which was home to a community of Native Americans.

Otis Gordon

Who: private citizen of South Carolina.

Gordon is a pastor.

Crime: drug possession.

He was convicted of possession of cocaine with the intention to distribute.

On top of his pardons, Trump has also commuted the sentences of Crystal Munoz, Tynice Nichole Hall, Judith Negron, Steve Stockman, Philip Esformes.

The former three were convicted on drug charges, while Esformes committed $1bn Medicare fraud.

Stockman, a former Republican representative for Texas, was convicted for money laundering and misuse of campaign contributions.

MORE: Can Donald Trump actually pardon himself?

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)