Donald Trump pardons Steve Bannon, Lil Wayne and scores of others in final hours of presidency

Sean Morrison
·2-min read
<p>Donald Trump issued a raft of pardons and commutations, including Steve Bannon (pictured together)</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump issued a raft of pardons and commutations, including Steve Bannon (pictured together)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump has pardoned his former chief strategist Steve Bannon and rapper Lil Wayne as part of a late flurry of clemency action benefiting nearly 150 people.

The outgoing president issued a raft of 11th-hour pardons and commutations in the final hours of his White House term. Several controversial names appear on the list, including Mr Bannon.

Mr Bannon has been charged with duping thousands of investors who believed their money would be used to fulfil Mr Trump’s chief campaign promise to build a wall along the southern border.

Instead, he allegedly diverted over a million dollars, paying a salary to one campaign official and personal expenses for himself.

The rapper Lil Wayne recieved a pardon after pleading guilty to a gun possession charge in Miami.

Another rapper, Kodak Black, received a commutation after he pleaded guilty to a weapons charge.

Mr Trump had already pardoned a slew of long-time associates and supporters before Mr Bannon’s pardon was announced.

Rapper Lil Wayne also received a pardon Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP
Rapper Lil Wayne also received a pardon Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

A statement from the White House said: “Prosecutors pursued Mr Bannon with charges related to fraud stemming from his involvement in a political project.

“Mr Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen.”

Mr Trump also pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top fundraiser for the president who pleaded guilty last year to violating foreign lobbying laws, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges.

Mr Trump also gave a full pardon to a former Google engineer sentenced for stealing a trade secret on self-driving cars months before he briefly headed Uber Technologies Inc's rival unit.

Anthony Levandowski, 40, was sentenced in August to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty in March. He was not in custody but a judge had said he could enter custody once the COVID-19 pandemic subsided.

The White House said Levandowski had "paid a significant price for his actions and plans to devote his talents to advance the public good."

Rudy Giuliani, who has been at the forefront of Mr Trump’s unsuccessful efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, has not been charged with a crime, but investigators have been probing his activities in Ukraine.

He did not receive a pardon.

Despite speculation, the list did not include the subject of the Netflix series "Tiger King", Joe Exotic, who is serving a 22-year prison sentence for plotting to kill a rival and animal cruelty.

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