Trump issues batch of 11th-hour pardons

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President Donald Trump issued pardons Tuesday to two former Republican congressmen who pleaded guilty to felony charges, as well as the campaign operative whose contacts with a Russian-aligned academic triggered the Trump-Russia investigation in 2016.

The pardons and commutations, part of a broader wave issued Tuesday, underscore Trump’s intention to protect close allies from criminal consequences.

The move comes less than two weeks after he pardoned another central figure in the Russia probe, former national security adviser MIchael Flynn.

Former Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), who pleaded guilty to insider trading-related charges, and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who admitted to flagrant campaign finance abuses, were Trump’s earliest congressional endorsements in his first presidential bid.

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