U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree excoriated President Trump’s recent pardons of his personal associates and other people convicted of crimes, calling him a “morally bankrupt president” taking part in “straight-up corruption.”

In the past two days, the president has granted clemency to nearly 50 people, many of whom are former employees or have ties to his family. Those pardoned Wednesday include Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager, and Charles Kushner, father of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

“President Trump has pardoned those who lied, stole, and cheated the American people as a reward for his political allies,” Pingree tweeted Wednesday night. “His cronies might walk free tonight, but history will remember them for who they are: criminals who were rewarded by a morally bankrupt president.”

Manafort was convicted in 2018 of eight charges of tax and bank fraud related to his work in Ukraine, and had been serving a sentence of more than seven years in prison before being released to home confinement because of the pandemic. Charles Kushner was convicted of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering back in 2005, and had long since served his two-year sentence.

Manafort’s charges stemmed from evidence unearthed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but unlike some other Trump associates convicted during the Mueller investigation, Manafort refused to cooperate with the FBI.

Trump on Wednesday also pardoned such other allies as Roger Stone, his friend and adviser whose 40-month sentence the president had already commuted, and Margaret Hunter, estranged wife of former Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Trump loyalist whom the president pardoned on Tuesday. Stone had been convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing a House inquiry into Russian election interference.

Sen. King on Wednesday night called Trump’s actions “an abuse of the (presidential pardon) power, an affront to the Constitution, and an insult to the people of this count(r)y.”

Wednesday night’s wave of pardons followed a similar rush of clemency the day before. On Tuesday, Trump issued pardons or commutations to former California Rep. Hunter, who stole campaign funds, and another former congressman, Chris Collins of New York, who was convicted of securities fraud in a scheme to avoid $800,000 in stock market losses. Both were staunch allies of the president.

Two other men convicted in the Mueller probe received pardons on Tuesday – George Papadopoulos, a 2016 Trump campaign adviser who lied to the FBI about a conversation about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton, and Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyer who also lied to investigators.

Trump on Tuesday also pardoned four former security contractors convicted for their roles in a 2007 massacre of civilians in Baghdad: Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard, who worked as private security guards for Blackwater Worldwide and were involved in the killing of more than a dozen civilians.

Those pardons drew a fierce reaction from King, who called them “straight-up corruption.”

The other members of Maine’s congressional delegation, Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Rep. Jared Golden, did not respond to requests late Wednesday for reaction to Trump’s pardons.

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