Steve Bannon, Kodak Black, Lil Wayne Among Trump's 143 Last-Minute Pardons And Commutations
On his final night as president, Donald Trump handed out dozens of pardons and clemencies to high-profile names.
January 20, 2021 at 3:35 pm
Most of the list includes political allies like Steve Bannon, who had been charged for defrauding Trump supporters, and Elliott Broidy, a wealthy former deputy finance chairman for the Republican National Committee. But there were also a few surprises.
Lil Wayne, rapper Kodak Black, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez and Death Row Records co-founder Michael “Harry-O” Harris were on the list of pardons or clemencies along with 138 other people.
Kilpatrick is well known because of the harsh sentence he was given after being convicted on 24 federal charges in 2013, including racketeering and extortion. With a scheduled release of 2036, it was one of the toughest political corruption sentences ever handed down.
Despite the headline-grabbing names on the list, Trump mostly pardoned and provided clemency to Republican officials and those close to him.
His lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, caused waves last month when it was revealed he may have been offering access to Trump for clemencies and pardons for a price, which would be a crime. The New York Times revealed that dozens of people were monetizing their access to Trump by offering to discuss clemencies or pardons.
Some spent thousands to get people in the room to ask Trump for pardons, the newspaper reported. Some spent around $50,000 while Giuliani allegedly charged $2 million to offer a name up for a pardon.
Since rapper Lil Wayne came out as a Trump supporter late last year, there were rumors that it was done in return for a pardon related to the federal gun charge that was hanging over his head. For some, his pardon may confirm that idea.
Snoop Dogg has spent years advocating on behalf of Harris, who was pivotal to the growth of Death Row Records.
In the clemency document, the White House wrote that Black was being supported by "Pastor Darrell Scott and Rabbi Schneur Kaplan. Additional supporters include Bernie Kerik, Hunter Pollack, Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens [and] Jack Brewer formerly of the National Football League."
But other names on the list were genuine pardons of people who were serving unfairly lengthy sentences for non-violent charges, like Ferrell Damon Scott, Jaime Davidson and Chris Young. All three have been championed by Alice Marie Johnson, who was released from prison thanks to advocacy from many people including Kim Kardashian.
As Blavity previously reported, Johnson was freed from prison after Trump decided to commute her sentence in 2018. Since then, she has spoken at the Republican National Convention and used her access to Trump to free others, like Scott and Davidson.