Donald Trump announces pardons and commutations for 143 People in last hours of Presidency
President Donald Trump announced late Tuesday night that he had pardoned and commuted the sentences of 143 people in the final hours of his presidency.
The president issued 73 pardons and 70 commutations.
The list included pop culture figures including rapper Lil Wayne, who was pardoned, and Kodak Black, whose sentence was commuted.
The president also pardoned several Republicans, including former Deputy National Finance Chair of the Republican National Committee Elliott Broidy, former Rep. Duke Cunningham of California, and former Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona.
He also issued a pardon for his former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was charged with fraud for his work on the “We Build the Wall” crowdfunding campaign fueled by Trump supporters to build a wall on the Southern border.
Trump also commuted the sentence of wealthy Democrat donor Dr. Salomon Melgen, who was convicted on 67 felony counts of Medicaid fraud in April 2017. The White House cited support for the pardon by Sen. Bob Menendez and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. Melgen was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 2018.
The president also commuted the sentence of former Mayor of Detroit Kwame Malik Kilpatrick, a Democrat, citing strong support by members of the Detroit Community as well as Alveda King, Alice Johnson, and Diamond and Silk. Kilpatrick served seven years of a 28-year sentence for his role in a major corruption scandal, convicted of racketeering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and other charges.
Trump also issued a full pardon to former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski, sentenced to 18 months in prison in August 2020 for stealing a trade secret from Google related to self-driving cars before changing jobs to work at Uber.
The president also commuted the prison sentence of William Walters, a professional gambler who was convicted in 2017 for insider trading and sentenced to five years in prison.
Trump’s list also included many nonviolent drug offenders sentenced to prison.
The long-awaited final list of pardons and commutations in Trump’s presidency was released early Wednesday morning just hours before he planned to leave the White House to his post-presidency home in Florida.
The president did not pardon Julian Assange or Edward Snowden, two whistleblowers who illegally shared America’s intelligence and national security secrets. The two individuals enjoyed bipartisan support for a pardon as their supporters had hoped that the president would ignore the intelligence community elites and prominent members of Congress in Washington who were deeply opposed to a pardon.
Trump also did not issue preemptive pardons for himself, members of his family, or even some of his staff for future crimes if they face persecution as a result of their connection to the Trump administration. He also did not issue a preemptive pardon for his personal lawyer and ally former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.