Last evening, President Trump – as one of his final acts as President of the United States – issued 73 pardons and 70 commutations.
Notably, some in the media speculated Trump would “preemptively” issue pardons to members of his family and former NYC Mayor and Trump legal counsel Rudy Giuliani. He did not issue pardons to them nor did he issue them to Edward Snowden or Julian Assange despite intense social media pressure from notable Trump supporters.
The most notable pardons & commutations:
Steve Bannon – The former Trump Advisor was granted a full pardon. According to the White House, Mr. Bannon, “Mr. Bannon with charges related to fraud stemming from his involvement in a political project. Mr. Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen.”
Representative Rick Renzi –In 2013, Mr. Renzi was convicted of extortion, bribery, insurance fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. He was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison, 2 years of supervised release, and paid a $25,000 fine. Before his conviction, Mr. Renzi served three terms in the House of Representatives. His constituents considered him a strong advocate for better housing, quality education, and improved healthcare—especially for the underprivileged and Native Americans. (White House)
Elliot Broidy- The former Deputy National Finance Chair of the Republican National Committee who was convicted on one count of conspiracy to serve as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal.
Dr. Scott Harkonen- “Convicted of fraud based on a misleading caption in a press release with respect to a treatment for a disease. Dr. Harkonen is world-renowned for his discovery of a new kidney disease, as well as its cause and treatment. Dr. Harkonen looks forward to returning to medicine.” (White House)
Former Congressman Robert Cannon “Robin” Hayes- The “former North Carolina Congressman is serving a 1-year term of probation for making a false statement in the course of a Federal investigation. In addition to his years in Congress, Mr. Hayes has served as Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party and Chair of the National Council of Republican Party Chairs.” (White House)
Paul Erickson- “Mr. Erickson’s conviction was based off the Russian collusion hoax. After finding no grounds to charge him with any crimes with respect to connections with Russia, he was charged with a minor financial crime. Although the Department of Justice sought a lesser sentence, Mr. Erickson was sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment—nearly double the Department of Justice’s recommended maximum sentence. This pardon helps right the wrongs of what has been revealed to be perhaps the greatest witch hunt in American History.” (White House)
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick – “This commutation is strongly supported by prominent members of the Detroit community, Alveda King, Alice Johnson, Diamond and Silk, Pastor Paula White, Peter Karmanos, Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo of the Michigan House of Representatives, Representative Karen Whitsett of the Michigan House of Representatives, and more than 30 faith leaders. Mr. Kilpatrick has served approximately 7 years in prison for his role in a racketeering and bribery scheme while he held public office. During his incarceration, Mr. Kilpatrick has taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates.” (White House)
Randall “Duke” Cunningham – “President Trump granted a conditional pardon to Randall “Duke” Cunningham who was released from prison in 2013. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich strongly supports this pardon. Mr. Cunningham, a former California Congressman, was sentenced to over 8 years’ imprisonment for accepting bribes while he held public office. During his time in prison, Mr. Cunningham tutored other inmates to help them achieve their GED. Mr. Cunningham is a combat veteran, an ace fighter pilot, and a member of the Military Order of Purple Hearts. Although combat-disabled, he continues to serve his community by volunteering with a local fire department and is active in Bible Study.” ((White House)
William Walters- The famed professional sports gambler was convicted of insider trading and sentenced to 5 years in prison. “Since his conviction, Mr. Walters has served nearly 4 years of his prison sentence and has paid $44 million in fines, forfeitures, and restitution. In addition to his established reputation in the sports and gaming industry, Mr. Walters is well known for his philanthropic efforts and was previously named Las Vegas’ Philanthropist of the Year.”
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. (Rapper Lil’ Wayne) – “Mr. Carter pled guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, owing to a conviction over 10 years ago. Brett Berish of Sovereign Brands, who supports a pardon for Mr. Carter, describes him as “trustworthy, kind-hearted and generous.” Mr. Carter has exhibited this generosity through a commitment to a variety of charities, including donations to research hospitals and a host of foodbanks. Deion Sanders, who also wrote in support of this pardon, calls Mr. Wayne “a provider for his family, a friend to many, a man of faith, a natural giver to the less fortunate, a waymaker, [and] a game changer.”
Bill K. Kapri (Rapper Kodak Black) – “Kodak Black was sentenced to 46 months in prison for making a false statement on a Federal document. He has served nearly half of his sentence. Before his conviction and after reaching success as a recording artist, Kodak Black became deeply involved in numerous philanthropic efforts. In fact, he has committed to supporting a variety of charitable efforts, such as providing educational resources to students and families of fallen law enforcement officers and the underprivileged. In addition to these efforts, he has paid for the notebooks of school children, provided funding and supplies to daycare centers, provided food for the hungry, and annually provides for underprivileged children during Christmas. Most recently while still incarcerated, Kodak Black donated $50,000 to David Portnoy’s Barstool Fund, which provides funds to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kodak Black’s only request was that his donation go toward restaurants in his hometown.”
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