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Stone and Manafort. Photos: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Alexandria Sheriff's Office via Getty Images

President Trump granted full pardons to 26 more people on Wednesday night, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Why it matters: It's a continuation of the president's controversial pre-Christmas pardon spree, which began in earnest Tuesday night with pardons for a trio of convicted former GOP congressmen and several military contractors involved in the 2007 massacre of Iraqi civilians.

Background

Manafort was one of the first major Trumpworld figures to be charged in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

  • He and deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates were indicted for their unregistered lobbying work on behalf of the pro-Russian government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. He later faced additional charges for witness tampering and was ultimately sentenced to 7.5 years in prison.
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee's report into Russian interference in the 2016 election found that Manafort passed internal campaign polling data to his business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the report described as a Russian intelligence officer.
  • Manafort's business dealings are still under legal scrutiny from the Manhattan district attorney, who could bring state charges that are not protected by Trump's pardon.

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.

  • The longtime Trump associate was sentenced to 40 months in prison, but had his sentence commuted by the president in July.
  • Stone and Manafort are the latest figures caught up in the Russia investigation to receive pardons from Trump, joining former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan.

Charles Kushner is a real estate developer who pleaded guilty in 2004 to filing false tax returns, retaliating against a witness and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission as part of a prosecution by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.

Go deeper: Trump pardons convicted former congressmen and Russia probe figures

This story has been updated with more background about Manafort, Stone and Kushner.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

U.S. women's soccer team beats Netherlands, moves on to Olympic semifinals

Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images

The U.S. women's soccer team beat the Netherlands in a penalty kick shootout on Friday, propelling them to the semifinals of the Olympic Games.

Why it matters: The win brings the U.S. team one step closer to its quest for a historic back-to-back double — winning the Olympics after emerging victorious at the Women's World Cup. The U.S. will play Canada in the semifinals next week.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
12 mins ago - World

SEC clamps down on Chinese IPOs

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese companies will be unable to go public in the U.S. unless they make new risk disclosures, according to a statement released Friday morning from SEC chair Gary Gensler.

Why it matters: Chinese companies, and tech startups in particular, are already under growing pressure from their own government. Now they're also getting squeezed by U.S. officials.