U.S. President Donald Trump has granted mercy to former White House advisor Steve Bannon as part of a wave of pardons and commutations he will issue during his final term, a senior administration official said.
Trump was not expected to forgive himself, members of his family or his attorney Rudy Giuliani, who, according to sources, was at the forefront of unsuccessful efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
Trump leaves office on Wednesday when Joe Biden is sworn in as the nation’s next president.
Trump also pardoned rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, who were prosecuted for federal gun violations, as well as former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a 28-year prison sentence on corruption charges, a senior government official said.
Bannon, who was a key advisor in Trump’s 2016 presidential election, was accused last year of defrauding Trump supporters to raise private funds to build the presidential wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He did not plead guilty.
White House officials had advised Trump against pardoning Bannon. The two men recently revived their relationship when Trump sought support for his unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud, said an official familiar with the situation.
67-year-old Bannon is the youngest prominent political ally to receive grace from Trump, who has often used executive powers to reward loyalists and punish his enemies.
Trump previously apologized to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI about his conversation with the former Russian ambassador and commuted the sentence for Roger Stone, who was convicted by Congress during his investigation into Russian interference in the presidency Having lied to in 2016 Wahl.
Bannon can still be tried in a state court in New York where a pardon would not help, said Daniel R. Alonso, a former prosecutor with the Buckley law firm. Fraud prosecutions are often launched by the Manhattan Attorney’s Office, Alonso said.
Lil Wayne, 38, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm in federal court in December and faced a prison sentence of up to 10 years. He has expressed his support for Trump’s criminal justice reform efforts.
Kodak Black, 23, who was born Bill Kahan Kapri, is in federal prison for making a false testimony to buy a gun.
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