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President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday commuted the remaining prison sentence of former Republican Texas congressman Steve Stockman, who was sentenced to 10 years in 2018 after he was convicted of nearly two-dozen felonies, including fraud.
Prosecutors said the conservative firebrand from Friendswood misused $1.25 million in funds from political donors to pay for expenses like hot air balloon rides, kennel bills and a new dishwasher — rather than for charity like the donors were told. He was also accused of planting an undercover intern in the state House office of a political rival.
Former U.S. Reps. Bob McEwen and Bob Barr, Republicans from Ohio and Georgia, respectively, were among the public figures who called for Stockman’s release, according to a statement from the White House press secretary, announcing the outgoing president had pardoned 15 people and commuted the sentences of five.
Stockman, 64, has underlying health conditions that place him at heightened risk during the pandemic. He has already been infected with the coronavirus while in prison, the release said.
He has served more than two years of his decade-long sentence and will “remain subject to a period” of supervised release and a requirement that he pay $1 million in restitution, the release said.
Trump also pardoned former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who were convicted in 2006 of shooting an unarmed drug smuggler and covering it up. Each was sentenced to more than a decade in prison, but President George W. Bush commuted their sentences in 2009.
This article was initially published at TexasTribune