Two people caught up in ‘Russiagate’ investigations, three former members of Congress, and four Blackwater mercenaries convicted of killing Iraqi civilians have received pardons or commutations from US President Donald Trump.

Trump announced he would pardon 15 people and commute the sentences of five more on Tuesday evening, ahead of the Christmas holidays – the traditional time for presidential clemency in the US.

Among the full pardons are Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos and Dutch lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan, both jailed for allegedly lying to the FBI by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors in the probe of Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, which found no evidence.

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