The president of United States, Donald Trump pardoned 73 people on Wednesday, including former adviser Steve Bannon and rapper Lil Wayne., announced the White House, shortly before the end of its functions.
“President Donald J. Trump granted pardons 73 people and commuted the sentences of another 70 people”The White House said in a statement.
In addition to Bannon and Lil Wayne, among the forgiven is also the rapper Kodak Black, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, Elliott Broidy (former fundraiser for Trump), and the former mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick, who in 2008 pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice as part of a plea deal in an investigation in which he and his father had accepted bribes in exchange for public contracts.
The president and his children were not on the list, as was rumored in possible “preventive” pardons.
Bannon received clemency for being accused of defrauding people out of funds raised to build Mexico’s border wall, which was a flagship Trump policy.
“Mr. Bannon has been an important leader in the Conservative movement and is known for his political acumen”Added the statement. The US media previously reported that the president made his last-minute decision after speaking with Bannon by phone. The recipients of a presidential pardon are normally considered to be people who have faced justice and have spent at least some time in prison. The one granted to his former head of strategy cancels the process and de facto eliminates any possible punishment.
For its part, Lil Wayne pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon and faced 10 years in jail.
The last-minute order, announced early Wednesday morning, follows other waves of pardons granted in the past month to Trump aides convicted in the FBI’s Russia investigation, as well as his son-in-law’s father.. Together, these actions demonstrate the president’s willingness, during his four years in the White House, to use his constitutional powers in ways that defy convention and explicitly help his friends and followers.
The latest list is replete with more conventional candidates for such measures and whose cases had been championed by activists. A man who has spent nearly 24 years in jail on drug and weapons charges, but who had displayed exemplary behavior, had his sentence commuted, as was an ex-marine sentenced in 2000 with a cocaine conviction.
But the names of Trump’s allies stood out from the crowd.
While other presidents have issued controversial pardons at the end of their terms, perhaps no other commander-in-chief has enjoyed so much using his clemency power to benefit not only friends or acquaintances, but also celebrities and others sponsored by his allies.
Death Row Records co-founder, Michael Harris, and the art dealer and collector from New York Hillel Nahmad. they were also pardoned.
The same fate ran Rick Renzi, a former Republican Congressman from Arizona who spent three years in prison for corruption, money laundering and other charges; and Duke Cunningham, a former California representative convicted of accepting $ 2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. Cunningham, who was released from prison in 2013, received a conditional clemency.
With information from AFP and AP