Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Donald Trump grants clemency to 143 people, but not himself or family members, in one of final acts of his presidency

From JSOnline:

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly used his clemency authority as a political tool rather than an act of mercy, issued a final wave of pardons and commutations on his last night in office, delivering relief for a mix of beneficiaries that included former strategist Stephen Bannon, Republican Party and Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, found guilty in 2013 of corruption charges.

He granted pardons to 73 people and commuted the sentences of another 70 people, according to a news release from the White House.

Several high-profile figures received pardons, including:

  • Former Republican House member Rick Renzi of Arizona, convicted in 2013 of extortion, bribery, insurance fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. Renzi left prison in 2017.
  • Former Rep. Randall “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., who was released from prison in 2013 after serving eight years for charges of bribery, fraud, and tax evasion.
  • Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., the rapper known as Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty to possession for a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.
  • Broidy, who pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent and accepting money from Chinese and Malaysian interests to lobby the Trump administration.
  • Bannon, who is awaiting trial in Manhattan on federal fraud charges tied to a border wall fundraising effort.

Trump and Bannon have had an up-and-down relationship since the flamboyant adviser left the White House in 2017. At one point, Trump banished Bannon from his inner circle, claiming that he was a source of a critical book about the president, but Bannon still worked as a prominent backer of Trump's 2020 reelection campaign.

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