The president is a loyal man and has always expected loyalty from other people. But when he thinks they’ve turned on him, he wastes no time in acting. Conversely, when they go to the mat for him, or have suffered for him, he doesn’t forget it.

Like presidents before him, Trump used the Christmas holiday to reward allies and friends and to write wrongs perpetrated by the justice system. The families of all who benefited by this, and they likely will not be the last in the waning days of his term, will have a wonderful Christmas morning. Thank God for it and for Donald Trump’s basic humanity.

FNC: “Just before heading to his private club in Palm Beach for Christmas Wednesday, President Trump issued a new wave of 26 pardons and three commutations. Prominent names included in the list of pardons are former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and adviser Roger Stone, who were prosecuted in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into election interference in the 2016 election. Other names included in the pardons are Charles Kushner, the father of Trump’s son-in law, Jared Kusher, who was convicted and sentenced to two years for preparing false tax returns, witness retaliation, and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission, and Margaret Hunter, the estranged wife of former California Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter. She pleaded guilty in 2019 to one count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal expenses and was sentenced to three years’ probation…Trump commuted the sentence of Steve Stockman on ‘humanitarian and compassionate grounds,’ as Stockman is 64 and has pre-existing health conditions that put him at risk for Covid-19. A former U.S. representative from Texas, Stockman served two years of  a 10-year sentence after he was convicted of misuse of charitable funds. He will still have to pay $1,000,000 restitution.”

The day earlier he had pardoned Duncan Hunter, a former GOP congressman from California, Chris Collins, a former GOP rep from New York, and Trump campaign advisor George Papadapoulous.

Manafort was the most significant of the pardons and a man, like Scooter Libby before him, who was the victim of an embarrassed special prosecutor who had to show at least one scalp in an investigation that was useless and rotten from the gitgo. Actually, I met Paul Manafort years ago when I was a young political consultant. He didn’t strike me as a man who would be so reckless as to risk criminal charges for added business. But as the saying goes, if a prosecutor really wants to they can indict and convict a ham sandwich. Manafort was the victim of that rabid zeal.

The two former congressmen the president pardoned, Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter, had been Trump allies and Hunter has a good military service record. Both screwed up big time. Both, especially in this season, deserved mercy.