Lil Wayne, ex-strategist Steve Bannon among those pardoned by Trump

National

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump pardoned former chief strategist Steve Bannon as part of a flurry of clemency action in the final hours of his White House term that benefited more than 140 people, including rap performers, ex-members of Congress and other allies of him and his family.

The last-minute clemency, announced Wednesday morning, follows separate waves of pardons over the past month for Trump associates convicted in the FBI’s Russia investigation as well as for the father of his son-in-law. Taken together, the actions underscore the president’s willingness, all the way through his four years in the White House, to flex his constitutional powers in ways that defy convention and explicitly aid his friends and supporters.

To be sure, the latest list was heavily populated by more conventional candidates whose cases had been championed by criminal justice activists. One man who has spent nearly 24 years in prison on drug and weapons charges but had shown exemplary behavior behind bars had his sentence commuted, as did a former Marine sentenced in 2000 in connection with a cocaine conviction.

A look at some of those receiving pardons, commutations

But the names of prominent Trump allies nonetheless stood out.

Besides Bannon, other pardon recipients included Elliott Broidy, a Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty last fall in a scheme to lobby the Trump administration to drop an investigation into the looting of a Malaysian wealth fund, and Ken Kurson, a friend of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner who was charged last October with cyberstalking during a heated divorce.

Bannon’s pardon was especially notable given that the prosecution was still in its early stages and any trial was months away. Whereas pardon recipients are conventionally thought of as defendants who have faced justice, often by having served at least some prison time, the pardon nullifies the prosecution and effectively eliminates any prospect for punishment.

“Steve Bannon is getting a pardon from Trump after defrauding Trump’s own supporters into paying for a wall that Trump promised Mexico would pay for,” Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said on Twitter. “And if that all sounds crazy, that’s because it is. Thank God we have only 12 more hours of this den of thieves.”

And while other presidents have issued controversial pardons at the ends of their administration, perhaps no commander in chief has so enjoyed using the clemency authority to benefit not only friends and acquaintances but also celebrity defendants and those championed by allies.

Wednesday’s list includes its share of high-profile defendants. Among them were rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, both convicted in Florida on weapons charges. Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, has frequently expressed support for Trump and recently met with the president on criminal justice issues. Others on the list included Death Row Records co-founder Michael Harris and New York art dealer and collector Hillel Nahmad.

Other pardon recipients include former Rep. Rick Renzi, an Arizona Republican who served three years for corruption, money laundering and other charges, and former Rep. Duke Cunningham of California, who was convicted of accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. Cunningham, who was released from prison in 2013, received a conditional pardon.

Trump also commuted the prison sentence of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who has served about seven years behind bars for a racketeering and bribery scheme.

Bannon has been charged with duping thousands of donors who believed their money would be used to fulfill 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.

Bannon did not respond to questions Tuesday.

Trump has already pardoned a slew of longtime associates and supporters, including his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law; his longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone; and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

A voice of nationalist, outsider conservatism, Bannon — who served in the Navy and worked at Goldman Sachs and as a Hollywood producer before turning to politics — led the conservative Breitbart News before being tapped to serve as chief executive officer of Trump’s 2016 campaign in its critical final months.

He later served as chief strategist to the president during the turbulent early days of Trump’s administration and was at the forefront of many of its most contentious policies, including its travel ban on several majority-Muslim countries.

But Bannon, who clashed with other top advisers, was pushed out after less than a year. And his split with Trump deepened after he was quoted in a 2018 book making critical remarks about some of Trump’s adult children. Bannon apologized and soon stepped down as chairman of Breitbart. He and Trump have recently reconciled.

In August, he was pulled from a luxury yacht off the coast of Connecticut and brought before a judge in Manhattan, where he pleaded not guilty. When he emerged from the courthouse, Bannon tore off his mask, smiled and waved to news cameras. As he went to a waiting vehicle, he shouted, “This entire fiasco is to stop people who want to build the wall.”

The organizers of the “We Build The Wall” group portrayed themselves as eager to help the president build a “big beautiful” barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, as he promised during the 2016 campaign. They raised more than $25 million from thousands of donors and pledged that 100% of the money would be used for the project.

But according to the criminal charges, much of the money never made it to the wall. Instead, it was used to line the pockets of group members, including Bannon.

Here is a full list of Pres. Trump’s pardons and commutations issued this year, courtesy of NewsNation:

Todd Boulanger – President Trump granted a full pardon to Todd Boulanger.

Abel Holtz – President Trump granted a full pardon to Abel Holtz.

Representative Rick Renzi – President Trump granted a full pardon to Representative Rick Renzi of Arizona.

Kenneth Kurson – President Trump granted a full pardon to Kenneth Kurson.

Casey Urlacher – President Trump granted a full pardon to Casey Urlacher.

Carl Andrews Boggs – President Trump granted a full pardon to Carl Andrews Boggs.

Jaime A. Davidson – President Trump commuted the sentence of Jaime A. Davidson.

James E. Johnson, Jr. – President Trump granted a full pardon to James E. Johnson, Jr. 

Tommaso Buti – President Trump granted a full pardon to Tommaso Buti.

Bill K. Kapri – President Trump granted a commutation to Bill Kapri, more commonly known as Kodak Black.

Jawad A. Musa – President Trump commuted the sentence of Jawad A. Musa.

Adriana Shayota – President Trump commuted the sentence of Adriana Shayota.

Glen Moss – President Trump granted a full pardon to Glen Moss.

Anthony Levandowski – President Trump granted a full pardon to Anthony Levandowski.

Aviem Sella – President Trump granted a full pardon to Aviem Sella.

Michael Liberty – President Trump granted a full pardon to Michael Liberty.

Greg Reyes – President Trump granted a full pardon to Greg Reyes.

Ferrell Damon Scott – President Trump commuted the sentence of Ferrell Damon Scott.

Jerry Donnell Walden – President Trump commuted the sentence of Jerry Donnell Walden.

Jeffrey Alan Conway – President Trump granted a full pardon to Jeffrey Alan Conway.

Benedict Olberding – President Trump granted a full pardon to Benedict Olberding.

Syrita Steib-Martin – President Trump granted a full pardon to Syrita Steib-Martin.

Michael Ashley – President Trump commuted the sentence of Michael Ashley.

Lou Hobbs – President Trump commuted the sentence of Lou Hobbs.

Matthew Antoine Canady – President Trump commuted the sentence of Matthew Antoine Canady.

Mario Claiborne – President Trump commuted the sentence of Mario Claiborne.

Rodney Nakia Gibson – President Trump commuted the sentence of Rodney Nakia Gibson.

Tom Leroy Whitehurst – President Trump commuted the sentence of Tom Leroy Whitehurst from life to 30 years.

Monstsho Eugene Vernon – President Trump commuted the sentence of Monstsho Eugene Vernon.

Luis Fernando Sicard – President Trump commuted the sentence of Luis Fernando Sicard.

DeWayne Phelps – President Trump commuted the sentence of DeWayne Phelps.

Isaac Nelson – President Trump commuted the sentence of Isaac Nelson.

Traie Tavares Kelly – President Trump commuted the sentence of Traie Tavares Kelly.

Javier Gonzales – President Trump commuted the sentence of Javier Gonzales.

Eric Wesley Patton – President Trump granted a full pardon to Eric Wesley Patton.

Robert William Cawthon – President Trump granted a full pardon to Robert William Cawthon.

Hal Knudson Mergler – President Trump granted a full pardon to Hal Knudson Mergler.

Gary Evan Hendler – President Trump granted a full pardon to Gary Evan Hendler.

John Harold Wall – President Trump granted a full pardon to John Harold Wall.

Steven Samuel Grantham – President Trump granted a full pardon to Steven Samuel Grantham.

Clarence Olin Freeman – President Trump granted a full pardon to Clarence Olin Freeman.

Fred Keith Alford – President Trump granted a full pardon to Fred Keith Alford.

John Knock – President Trump commuted the sentence of John Knock.

Kenneth Charles Fragoso – President Trump commuted the sentence of Kenneth Charles Fragoso.

Luis Gonzalez – President Trump commuted the sentence of Luis Gonzalez.

Anthony DeJohn – President Trump commuted the sentence of Anthony DeJohn.

Corvain Cooper – President Trump commuted the sentence of Mr. Corvain Cooper.

Way Quoe Long – President Trump commuted the sentence of Way Quoe Long.

Michael Pelletier – President Trump commuted the sentence of Michael Pelletier.

Craig Cesal – President Trump commuted the sentence of Craig Cesal.

Darrell Frazier – President Trump commuted the sentence of Darrell Frazier.

Lavonne Roach – President Trump commuted the sentence of Lavonne Roach.

Blanca Virgen – President Trump commuted the sentence of Blanca Virgen.

Robert Francis – President Trump commuted the sentence of Robert Francis.

Brian Simmons – President Trump commuted the sentence of Brian Simmons.

Derrick Smith – President Trump commuted the sentence of Derrick Smith.

Raymond Hersman – President Trump commuted the sentence of Raymond Hersman.

David Barren – President Trump commuted the sentence of David Barren.

James Romans – President Trump commuted the sentence of James Romans.

Jonathon Braun – President Trump commuted the sentence of Jonathan Braun.

Michael Harris – President Trump commuted the sentence of Michael Harris.

Kyle Kimoto – President Trump commuted the sentence of Kyle Kimoto.

Chalana McFarland – President Trump commuted the sentence of Chalana McFarland.

Eliyahu Weinstein – President Trump commuted the sentence of Eliyahu Weinstein.

John Estin Davis – President Trump commuted the sentence of John Estin Davis.

Alex Adjmi – President Trump granted a full pardon to Alex Adjmi.

Elliott Broidy – President Trump granted a full pardon to Elliott Broidy.

Stephen K. Bannon – President Trump granted a full pardon to Stephen Bannon.

Douglas Jemal – President Trump granted a full pardon to Douglas Jemal.

Noah Kleinman – President Trump commuted the sentence of Noah Kleinman.

Dr. Scott Harkonen – President Trump granted a full pardon Dr. Scott Harkonen.

Johnny D. Phillips, Jr. – President Trump granted a full pardon to Johnny D. Phillips, Jr.

Dr. Mahmoud Reza Banki – President Trump granted a full pardon to Dr. Mahmoud Reza Banki.

Tena Logan – President Trump commuted the sentence of Tena Logan.

MaryAnne Locke – President Trump commuted the sentence of MaryAnne Locke.

April Coots – President Trump commuted the sentence of April Coots.

Caroline Yeats – President Trump commuted the sentence of Caroline Yeats.

Jodi Lynn Richter – President Trump commuted the sentence of Jodi Lynn Richter.

Kristina Bohnenkamp – President Trump commuted the sentence of Kristina Bohnenkamp.

Mary Roberts – President Trump commuted the sentence of Mary Roberts.

Cassandra Ann Kasowski – President Trump commuted the sentence of Cassandra Ann Kasowski.

Lerna Lea Paulson – President Trump commuted the sentence of Lerna Lea Paulson.

Ann Butler – President Trump commuted the sentence of Ann Butler.

Sydney Navarro – President Trump commuted the sentence of Sydney Navarro.

Tara Perry – President Trump commuted the sentence of Tara Perry.

John Nystrom – President Trump granted a full pardon to John Nystrom.

Gregory Jorgensen, Deborah Jorgensen, Martin Jorgensen – President Trump granted full pardons to Gregory and Deborah Jorgensen, and a posthumous pardon to Martin Jorgensen.

Jessica Frease – President Trump granted a full pardon to Jessica Frease.

Robert Cannon “Robin” Hayes – President Trump granted a full pardon to Robert Cannon “Robin” Hayes.

Thomas Kenton “Ken” Ford – President Trump granted a full pardon to Ken Ford.

Jon Harder – President Trump commuted the sentence of Jon Harder.

Scott Conor Crosby – President Trump granted a full pardon to Scott Conor Crosby.

Chris Young – President Trump commuted the remaining sentence of Chris Young.

Adrianne Miller – President Trump commuted the remaining sentence of Adrianne Miller.

Lynn Barney – President Trump granted a full pardon to Lynn Barney.

Joshua J. Smith – President Trump granted a full pardon to Joshua J. Smith.

Amy Povah – President Trump granted a full pardon to Amy Povah.

Dr. Frederick Nahas – President Trump granted a full pardon to Frederick Nahas.

David Tamman – President Trump granted a full pardon to David Tamman.

Dr. Faustino Bernadett – President Trump granted a full pardon to Dr. Faustino Bernadett.

Paul Erickson – President Trump has issued a full pardon to Paul Erikson.

Kwame Kilpatrick – President Trump commuted the sentence of the former Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Malik Kilpatrick.

Fred “Dave” Clark – President Trump commuted Dave Clark’s remaining term of incarceration.

Todd Farha, Thaddeus Bereday, William Kale, Paul Behrens, Peter Clay – President Trump granted full pardons to Todd Farha, Thaddeus Bereday, William Kale, Paul Behrens, and Peter Clay.

David Rowland – President Trump granted a full pardon to David Rowland.

Randall “Duke” Cunningham – President Trump granted a conditional pardon to Randall “Duke” Cunningham.

William Walters – President Trump commuted the sentence of William Walters.

Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. – President Trump granted a full pardon to Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., also known as “Lil Wayne.” 

Stephen Odzer – President Trump granted a conditional pardon to Stephen Odzer.

James Brian Cruz – President Trump commuted the remaining sentence of James Brian Cruz.

Steven Benjamin Floyd – President Trump granted a full pardon to Steven Benjamin Floyd.

Joey Hancock – President Trump granted a full pardon to Joey Hancock.

David E. Miller – President Trump granted a full pardon to David E. Miller.

James Austin Hayes – President Trump granted a full pardon to James Austin Hayes. 

Drew Brownstein – President Trump granted a full pardon to Drew Brownstein.

Robert Bowker – President Trump granted a full pardon to Robert Bowker.

Amir Khan – President Trump granted a full pardon to Amir Khan.

Shalom Weiss – President Trump commuted the sentence of Shalom Weiss.

Salomon Melgen – President Trump commuted the sentence of Salomon Melgen.

Patrick Lee Swisher – President Trump granted a full pardon to Patrick Lee Swisher.

Robert Sherrill – President Trump granted a full pardon to Robert Sherrill.

Dr. Robert S. Corkern – President Trump granted a full pardon to Robert S. Corkern.

David Lamar Clanton – President Trump granted a full pardon to David Lamar Clanton. 

George Gilmore – President Trump granted a full pardon to George Gilmore.

Desiree Perez – President Trump granted a full pardon to Desiree Perez.

Robert “Bob” Zangrillo – President Trump granted a full pardon to Robert Zangrillo.

Hillel Nahmad – President Trump granted a full pardon to Hillel Nahmad.

Brian McSwain – The President granted a full pardon to Brian McSwain.

John Duncan Fordham – President Trump granted a full pardon to John Duncan Fordham.

William “Ed” Henry – President Trump granted a full pardon to William “Ed” Henry of Alabama.

In addition, President Trump commuted the sentences to time served for the following individuals: Jeff Cheney, Marquis Dargon, Jennings Gilbert, Dwayne L. Harrison, Reginald Dinez Johnson, Sharon King, and Hector Madrigal, Sr.

Earlier in January, Fred Davis Clark Jr. was granted clemency, according to the Department of Justice.

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