Trump Pardons Lil Wayne, Steve Bannon, And More Than 70 Others On Final Day
Donald Trump has decided to pardon rapper Lil Wayne and his former senior adviser Steve Bannon, alongside 72 others, the White House has revealed in a statement.
Wayne, real name Dwayne Michael Carter, was facing significant jail time after pleading guilty to a 2019 gun charge last month. However, the rapper famously pledged his support for Trump in October last year, ahead of the US Presidential Election, something which the incumbent president clearly hasn’t forgotten.
Trump also pardoned his former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who was charged with defrauding donors who thought their money was going towards the famous border wall between the US and Mexico.
In the president’s statement, Wayne is described as ‘trustworthy, kind-hearted and generous,’ having donated to ‘a variety of charities, including donations to research hospitals and a host of foodbanks.’
Bannon and three others are accused of pocketing more than $1 million of the $25 million raised for the ‘We Build the Wall’ campaign. Bannon has denied the charge but is yet to stand trial. Trump’s pardon is thought to be a pre-emptive move to avoid him having to do any prison time.
‘Mr Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen,’ the statement explains. Bannon, the former editor of far-right news outlet Breitbart, was arrested in August last year. His fraud trial is set to begin in May, though many think Trump’s pardon is a pre-emptive move to protect his former adviser, The Guardian reports.
In addition to the 73 pardons, the 74-year-old departing president has also commuted the sentences of 70 others, including that of rapper Kodak Black and Kwame Kilpatrick, former mayor of Detroit.
Kodak, real name Bill K Kapri, is currently serving a 46-month sentence for falsifying federal forms to buy firearms, while Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years behind bars for several federal counts.
The president cited ‘numerous philanthropic efforts’ for the reason behind Kodak’s sentence commute, explaining that most recently, he ‘donated $50,000 to David Portnoy’s Barstool Fund, which provides funds to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic’.
Kilpatrick, meanwhile, has ‘taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates’.
Death Row Records co-founder Michael ‘Harry-O’ Harris, who has already spent more than 30 years in prison, has had his sentenced commuted by Trump. He was found guilty of a number of drug charges and conspiracy to murder.
‘Mr Harris has had an exemplary prison record for three decades,’ the statement reads. ‘He is a former entrepreneur and has mentored and taught fellow prisoners how to start and run businesses.’
A pardon essentially cancels any punishment for a criminal conviction, while a commutation shortens or ends a prison sentence that has already begun.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has been known to pardon a number of close friends and allies.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read