President Donald Trump issued a wave of 11th-hour pardons and commutations late Tuesday night. In his last full day in office, President Trump issued pardons or communications to over 140 individuals.
The lengthy list included his one-time political strategist, a pair of well-known rappers, a former top fundraiser, and a couple of former Republican members of Congress.
Up until now, Trump had mostly used his pardon power to favor politically connected individuals who sometimes had direct ties to the president himself, such as General Michael Flynn and Roger Stone.
His latest batch of pardons included a number of people recommended for clemency by advocates and the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney.
It was reported throughout the day that Trump was undecided as to whether to include his one-time political strategist Steve Bannon among those on the list, but he ultimately decided to include him. Bannon was arrested last year on wire fraud and money laundering charges. He is accused of defrauding donors in a “We Build the Wall” online fundraising campaign.
Other notables on the list include rapper Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty to a gun possession charge in Miami last year. The rapper, real name Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., endorsed Trump ahead of the November election.
Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done. 🤙🏾 pic.twitter.com/Q9c5k1yMWf
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) October 29, 2020
Rapper Kodak Black, real name Bill Kapri, had his sentence commuted, as did Michael “Harry-O” Harris, the co-founder of Death Row Records.
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, serving 28 years for corruption, had his sentence commuted.
Trump also pardoned two former Republican members of Congress, Rick Renzi of Arizona and Randall “Duke” Cunningham of California. Both had completed prison terms that stemmed from corruption convictions.
CNN reported that several Republican lawmakers who took part in the rally that preceded the attacks on the Capitol sought clemency from Trump, but after meeting with his legal advisers, the President decided against it.
While Trump did not include himself or his family on the list, he has until noon on Wednesday to issue any final pardons.