Trump pardons ex-aide Bannon but not himself or family…

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Donald Trump will not been granting clemency to himself, his children, or his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani after months of speculation.

On Tuesday night, the outgoing president granted clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon as part as part of a wave of pardons and commutations issued during his final hours in office.

In total, the full list of recipients was said to be 143. Trump, however, did not name himself among those being pardoned, nor did he name any of his children.  

White House advisers had reportedly cautioned Trump against a self-pardon over the last few months because they believed it would make him look guilty of something.

Trump, who officially leaves office later today, appeared to heed their warnings.

There was also no pardon for his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was at the forefront of Trump’s unsuccessful efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Giuliani has not been charged with a crime, but investigators have been probing his activities in Ukraine. 

A number of other high-profile names who were expected to be considered for clemency were also missing from the list. Those included Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Tiger King’s Joe Exotic.

On Tuesday night, the outgoing president granted clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon as part as part of a wave of pardons and commutations he will issue during his final hours in office.

Bannon, who was a key adviser in Trump's 2016 presidential run,

Trump's personal attorney, has not been pardoned

Bannon (left), who was a key adviser in Trump’s 2016 presidential run, was pardoned Tuesday. Giuliani (right), Trump’s personal attorney, has not been pardoned

Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, was not expected to get a pardon, according to Reuters. 

The U.S. Justice Department in 2019 asked Britain to extradite Assange to the United States to face charges that he conspired to hack U.S. government computers and violated an espionage law.

A British judge ruled two weeks ago Assange should not be extradited to the United States, saying his mental health problems meant he would be at risk of suicide.

His partner Stella Moris had previously urged the Department of Justice to ‘to drop the charges and the President of the United States to pardon Julian.’

The 49-year-old is wanted to face an 18-count indictment, alleging a plot to hack computers and a conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information.

The US Government has formally lodged an appeal against the decision to block Assange’s extradition.

Also not in line for a commutation was Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic. He has served roughly two years of a 22-year sentence after he was convicted on 17 federal charges in 2019 for animal abuse and an attempted murder-for-hire plot on fellow exotic cat owner Carole Baskin.

Exotic’s team, seemingly anticipating his imminent release, reportedly had a limo ready from a Fort Worth prison to immediately get his hair done before seeing his husband Dillon Passage. 

Star of the Netflix series Joe Exotic, who is in jail as part of a murder-for-hire plot, did not receive clemency despite his appeals to the president

Star of the Netflix series Joe Exotic, who is in jail as part of a murder-for-hire plot, did not receive clemency despite his appeals to the president

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Edward Snowden

Snowden

Also missing from the list was Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and Edward Snowden

Joe Biden will be sworn in as Trump’s White House successor on Wednesday.

Ahead of his departure, Trump pardoned rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black who were prosecuted on federal weapons offenses, as well as former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges, a senior administration official said.

Lil Wayne, 38, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., pleaded guilty in federal court in December to illegally possessing a firearm and faced up to 10 years in prison. He has expressed 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 statement in order to buy a firearm.

Trump also granted clemency to Casey Urlacher, brother of former NFL star Brian Urlacher, who pleaded not guilty in March to charges that he helped run an illegal offshore gambling ring. 

Sholam Weiss, who was convicted of bilking $125 million from the National Heritage Life Insurance Co and its elderly policyholders, was pardoned. He fled the United States and was sentenced in absentia in 2000 to 845 years in prison, but he was eventually extradited from Austria.

Weiss, 66, is at a U.S. penitentiary in Pennsylvania, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Trump lawyers from his first impeachment, Alan Dershowitz and Jay Sekulow, sent letters to the White House in support of Weiss.

Former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski too received a presidential pardon from Trump.  

Levandowski pleaded guilty to stealing secret technology related to self-driving cars from Google before becoming the head of Uber Technologies Inc’s rival unit.

In August, a judge in San Francisco sentenced Levandowski to 18 months in prison but said he could enter custody once the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.

The judge, William Alsup, who has been involved in Silicon Valley litigation for nearly five decades, described Levandowski’s conviction as the ‘biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen.’

Ahead of his departure, Trump also pardoned rapper Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty in federal court in December to illegally possessing a firearm

Ahead of his departure, Trump also pardoned rapper Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty in federal court in December to illegally possessing a firearm

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges was granted clemency

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges was granted clemency 

Bannon, who was a key adviser in Trump’s 2016 presidential run, was pardoned also. He was charged last year with swindling Trump supporters over an effort to raise private funds to build the president’s wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but pleaded not guilty.

White House officials had advised Trump against pardoning Bannon. The two men have lately rekindled their relationship as Trump sought support for his unproven claims of voter fraud, an official familiar with the situation said.

Bannon, 67, is the latest prominent political ally to receive clemency from Trump, who has often used the powers of the executive branch to reward loyalists and punish his enemies.

Trump previously pardoned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI about his conversation with the former Russian ambassador, and he commuted the prison term for Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress during its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Bannon can still be charged in state court in New York, where a pardon would not help him, said Daniel R. Alonso, a former prosecutor now at the Buckley law firm. Fraud prosecutions are frequently brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Alonso said.

Notable names on Trump’s last minute pardon list

Donald Trump offered pardons and commutations to 143 people in the hours before he leaves office at noon Wednesday.

The list includes names unfamiliar to the American public — regular people who have spent years languishing in prison — as well as politically connected friends and allies.

Here DailyMail.com looks at some of those pardoned: 

STEVE BANNON:

Bannon, 67, was a key adviser in Trump’s 2016 presidential run. He was charged last year with swindling Trump supporters over an effort to raise private funds to build the president’s wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He has pleaded not guilty.

White House officials had advised Trump against pardoning Bannon, who left the Trump administration in late 2017. The two men have lately rekindled their relationship as Trump sought support for his unproven claims of voter fraud, an official familiar with the situation said.

ELLIOTT BROIDY:

Broidy, a major Republican Party fundraiser, pleaded guilty in October to acting as an unregistered foreign agent, admitting to accepting money to secretly lobby the Trump administration for Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Broidy held finance posts in Trump´s 2016 campaign and on his inaugural committee.

Prosecutors alleged Broidy received millions of dollars in payments from an unnamed foreign national to try to arrange the end of a U.S. investigation into billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB, a Malaysian government investment fund.

KWAME KILPATRICK:

The former Detroit mayor was sentenced in 2013 to 28 years in prison following his conviction on two dozen charges including racketeering, bribery and extortion from a conspiracy, which prosecutors said had worsened the city’s financial crisis.

Kilpatrick, 50, once seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, received one of the longest corruption sentences ever handed to a major U.S. politician.

Kilpatrick, who was mayor from 2002 to 2008, extorted bribes from contractors who wanted to get or keep Detroit city contracts, prosecutors said.

LIL WAYNE:

Lil Wayne, 38, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, pleaded guilty in federal court in December to illegally possessing a firearm and faced up to 10 years in prison. He was scheduled to be sentenced in March in Florida.

A year earlier, the Grammy winner was found with a loaded, gold-plated .45-caliber handgun in his baggage aboard a private plane that had landed at an executive airport near Miami. A previous felony conviction made it illegal for the rapper to have the weapon or ammunition.

On Oct. 29, Wayne tweeted a picture of himself with Trump following what he called a ‘great meeting’ with the president.

KODAK BLACK:

Black, 23, who was born Bill Kahan Kapri, is in federal prison for making a false statement to buy a firearm, and released the album ‘Bill Israel’ from behind bars.

Black pleaded guilty in August 2019, and three months later was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison. He is seeking compassionate release.

In a since-deleted tweet in November, Black promised to spend $1 million on charity if the president released him, the hip-hop magazine XXL reported.

SHOLAM WEISS:

Weiss was convicted of bilking $125 million from the National Heritage Life Insurance Co and its elderly policyholders. He fled the United States and was sentenced in absentia in 2000 to 845 years in prison, but he was eventually extradited from Austria.

Weiss, 66, is at a U.S. penitentiary in Pennsylvania, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Trump lawyers from his first impeachment, Alan Dershowitz and Jay Sekulow, sent letters to the White House in support of Weiss.

ANTHONY LEVANDOWSKI:

Levandowski, a former Google engineer, pleaded guilty to stealing secret technology related to self-driving cars from the company before becoming the head of Uber Technologies Inc’s rival unit.

In August, a judge in San Francisco sentenced Levandowski to 18 months in prison but said he could enter custody once the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.

The judge, William Alsup, who has been involved in Silicon Valley litigation for nearly five decades, described Levandowski’s conviction as the ‘biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen.’

 

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