Trump granted more than 140 people clemency including former aide Steve Bannon and major Republican Party fundraiser Elliott Broidy.
Rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black were among the beneficiaries of Donald Trump’s wave of pardons in his last day in office on Wednesday, befitting a president who made his name in New York’s tabloids and on reality TV.
Five-time Grammy Award winner Lil Wayne appeared to support Trump on the campaign trail ahead of Trump’s re-election bid when he backed his criminal justice reform program and economic plan for African Americans.
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While the more than 140 people granted clemency included former aide Steve Bannon and major Republican Party fundraiser Elliott Broidy, Trump also used his wide-ranging powers to clear people with little apparent ties to his administration.
Kodak Black pleaded guilty in August 2019, and three months later was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison. He was seeking compassionate release and his commutation was supported by religious leaders, other rappers, and athletes.
Most presidents have issued pardons late in their terms. Usually processed through the Office of the Pardon Attorney, they are intended to address cases in which the punishment is outsized compared to the crime.
Trump, who delivered his first pardon in August 2017, his first year in office, had issued 70 in total before Wednesday, many of which have been given to people who are friendly with his administration.
Trump’s pardons have also included some people tied to celebrities, including Alice Marie Johnson, a woman convicted on drug charges whose case was championed by reality television star Kim Kardashian West.