Washington, DC – As one of the last big moves of his administration, now-former President Donald Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of 143 people in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a list that included a couple of rappers, a few of his political allies, and one of the fathers caught in the university admissions scandal.
The vast majority of the people on the list were low-level drug offenders with long sentences and people who had been championed by criminal justice reform advocates, CNN reported.
As expected, President Trump granted a full pardon to rapper Lil Wayne.
Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., was charged with federal gun crimes in November connection with an incident that occurred back in December of 2019.
The charges came just three weeks after Lil Wayne made a controversial endorsement of President Trump’s re-election bid.
The charges stemmed from an incident that occurred when Lil Wayne and his entourage landed in Miami on Dec. 23, 2019 in a private plane, the Associated Press reported.
Charging documents filed in Miami federal court said the rapper was caught in possession of a gun and ammunition despite the fact he knew he had a felony on his record that prohibited it.
A search warrant showed that Carter told police when the pistol was found that the gun had been a Father’s Day gift, the Associated Press reported.
Lil Wayne pleaded guilty in December of 2020 to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.
President Trump also commuted the sentence of controversial rapper Kodak Black, whose real name is Bill Kahan Kapri.
Kodak Black was serving a four-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to federal weapons charges.
The President granted a full pardon to former campaign CEO and White House strategist Steve Bannon, who was indicted in August on fraud charges in connection with the “We Build The Wall” fundraising initiative.
The indictment alleged that Bannon and Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, who helped organize the “We Build The Wall” fundraising campaign, lied when they claimed they would not receive compensation for their part in the efforts, The Washington Post reported.
Prosecutors have said that Bannon received more than $1 million in payment through a non-profit he controlled and Kolfage received more than $350,000.
Bannon and three other defendants were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, WNBC reported.
The White House called Bannon “an important leader in the conservative movement” who was “known for his political acumen.”
Critics attacked President Trump for pardoning someone who had defrauded his own supporters, CBS News reported.
President Trump also pardoned former Republican National Committee Deputy National Finance Chair Elliott Broidy.
Broidy was convicted of convicted on one count of conspiracy to serve as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal for his role in a scheme to lobby the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice for a foreign country, CBS News reported.
President Trump commuted the sentence of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who has already served seven years in prison for his role in a racketeering and bribery scheme.
"The President of the United States pardoned a former Detroit mayor convicted of stealing $5 million from his city because Diamond and Silk told him to do it."
This is I think a sentence not a single journalist ever envisioned writing.
— Janice Hough (@leftcoastbabe) January 20, 2021
He also pardoned Robert “Bob” Zangrillo, who was charged in connection with the “Varsity Blues” college admission scandal that sent actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin to prison for brief periods.
Zangrillo was the only person charged in the scandal that received help from President Trump, CNN reported.
The White House explained the decision by saying “his daughter did not have others take standardized tests for her and she is currently earning a 3.9 GPA at the University of Southern California.”
Notably, President Trump did not issues pardons to any of his family members or attorney Rudy Giuliani, despite months of speculation by mainstream media.
BREAKING: The White House releases its final clemency list:
-73 pardons, 70 commutations
-Him/Family: No pardon
-Rudy Giuliani: No pardon
-Julian Assange: No pardon
-Edward Snowden: No pardon
-Joe Exotic: No pardon https://t.co/4y4ooqPCIE
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) January 20, 2021
Nor did he succumb to pleas for the pardons of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, or Joe Exotic.