With just hours left in his Presidency, Trump issued more than 100 pardons or commutations, ranging from former advisor Steve Bannon to rapper Lil Wayne. Predictably, cable news talking heads are condemning the pardons.
Late in the evening, President Trump released a list of pardons and commutations that includes rappers, politicians, and former Trump campaign associates.
- Among those pardoned was Steve Bannon, charged with fraud last year involving a charity claiming to raise money for a border wall.
- Rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black also received reprieves after being convicted of federal weapons violations.
- Sentences were commuted for multiple people with non-violent drug convictions, championed by Alice Johnson, who was pardoned by Trump earlier in his term and became an advocate for the Trump administration’s criminal justice reforms.
- Elected officials and political fundraisers were also included in those pardoned.
- Huffington Post criticized Trump’s use of his pardon powers, saying “the law, in Trump’s presidency, simply does not apply to his allies.”
- Vox detailed what it characterized as the shocking pardon of a former Google executive who left for Uber, became embroiled in corporate litigation and pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets.
- A CNN analyst called Trump’s pardon of Bannon “problematic” and “a favor to a crony.” Four years ago, the network celebrated Obama’s commutation of a terrorist.
- Julian Assange and Edward Snowden were not on the list of pardons, to the chagrin of Breitbart news which noted the bipartisan support both had.
- The Wall Street Journal chronicled the back-and-forth within the White House on whether Bannon would receive a pardon.
- Washington Examiner noted the list of “supporters and allies” pardoned by Trump, while also reporting no family members received pardons despite media speculation he may issue them.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021