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Graphic: CNN

It’s a white, joyous Christmas for convicts with connections to President Trump. The justice system — and the law enforcers who worked years to prosecute these cases — got a big lump of coal. 

Why it matters: A senior administration official with no role in the pardon process tells Axios that people have been approaching him to ask for pardons for themselves, their clients — even their former clients. The request is a sign of the final days free-for-all among people who want to be on Trump’s extensive pardons list for personal and political allies.

Last evening, Trump granted full pardons to 26 more people, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, father of Jared Kushner, Axios' Zach Basu writes.

  • Manafort was one of the first major Trumpworld figures to be charged in the Mueller investigation.
  • Stone was charged and convicted for lying to investigators who were probing his contacts with WikiLeaks, which released damaging Democratic emails hacked by the Russian government during the 2016 campaign.
  • Charles Kushner is a developer who pleaded guilty in 2004 to filing false tax returns, retaliating against a witness and making false statements to the FEC as part of a prosecution by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.

True story: Manafort and Stone were once in business together. In the Reagan years of the early '80s, Black, Manafort & Stone was one of the most formidable lobby shops in town.

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Go deeper

Off the Rails

A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

President Trump was almost shouting. He directed his son-in-law and his senior strategist from his private quarters at the White House late on election night. He barked out the names of top Fox News executives and talent he expected to answer to him.

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.