President Trump has granted 73 pardons and 70 commutations as he enters his final full day in office, including his former top campaign aide and White House strategist Steve Bannon.
Reuters cited a senior administration official saying that President Trump has also issued pardons to Elliott Broidy, who pleaded guilty last year to violating foreign lobbying laws. The president also commuted the sentence of rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, who were prosecuted on federal weapons offenses, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was convicted in 2008 of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Bannon, a key adviser in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was arrested and charged last year with defrauding $1 million from donors who contributed to a fundraising campaign for a private U.S.-Mexico border wall. He has pleaded not guilty.
“I don’t like that project. I thought it was being done for showboating reasons,” President Trump said at the time. “It was something that I very much felt was inappropriate to be doing.”
Bannon now is a host of a daily internet-based TV showed called “War Room Pandemic” on which he publicly defended President Trump over the 2020 election results and other issues.
In November, Twitter suspended an account associated with Bannon for “glorification of violence,” citing a podcast in which he suggested President Trump start his second term by firing Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray, before saying he’d “actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England.”
Earlier this month, as part of a purge of President Trump’s supporters and conservatives, YouTube also banned Bannon’s podcast after former Mayor of New York, Rudi Giuliani, appeared on the program following the Jan. 6 breach at the U.S. Capitol and his statements related to the 2020 presidential election.
President Trump has been urged to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with his fiancée renewing her pleas for the president to stop Assange “falling into the hands of the Deep State.”
On Monday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson called upon President Trump to pardon Assange, warning of the dangers of politicians in Washington, D.C., reaching consensus decisions that reflect their interests rather than voters’ interests.
“Julian Assange, for example, he’s rotting away in a prison in London right now. Why? he published information that the U.S. government wanted to keep secret, not to protect us, but to protect themselves,” Carlson said.
“This case is about criminalizing freedom of speech,” he asserted.
According to Reuters, President Trump is not expected to grant pardons to himself or his family. The president is expected to issue more than 140 pardons and commutations in a final list to be released before leaving Washington, D.C, on Wednesday morning.