By Dick Brennan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)President Donald Trump handed out 26 new pardons Wednesday, including two more connected to the special counsel probe and one close to his family.

This comes after pardons he issued Tuesday, including one to his former campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who is expressing his thanks.

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“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the president for granting this kindness and mercy towards myself on the cusp of Christmas,” Papadopoulos said Wednesday.

Trump headed off to Florida to spend the Christmas holiday in Mar-a-Lago, but not before he continued his holiday pardon blitz.

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Among those he pardoned were his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s father, Charles, who completed his sentenced over a decade ago for financial crimes and witness tampering.

He also pardoned two others convicted by juries in cases stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, former Trump advisor Roger Stone and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort.

The Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is still trying to prosecute Manafort on mortgage fraud charges.

But a New York appeals court has said no to that because the former Trump lobbyist had already been tried and convicted for the same crimes federally.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan DA reacted to the pardon on Twitter, saying, “This action underscores the urgent need to hold Mr. Manafort accountable for his crimes against the People of New York as alleged in our indictment. We will continue to pursue our appellate remedies.”

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MORE FROM CBS NEWS: Trump Grants More Pardons, Including For Paul Manafort, Roger Stone And Charles Kushner

The president also triggered chaos with his threat to veto a COVID relief bill. This drew a range of reactions from both Democrats and Republicans.

“It’s a really foolish, egg-headed, left wing, socialist idea to pass out free money to people,” Republican Sen. Rand Paul said.

“The one thing he should not be doing is, after the work went into the bill, holding up, when, by the end of the month, people are gonna, their benefits are gonna end,” Democratic Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said.

The president also issued a veto of a massive military spending bill Wednesday. It was passed by a veto-proof margin in Congress and could be overridden next week.

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Dick Brennan