NEWS
20/01/2021 08:27 GMT | Updated 20/01/2021 11:01 GMT

Donald Trump Pardons: The Six People You Need To Know About

Former White House adviser Steve Bannon and rapper Lil Wayne are among those being granted clemency by the outgoing US president.

Outgoing US President Donald Trump has issued a wave of pardons and clemency just hours before he was set to leave office.

Pardons and commutations were announced for 143 people, including former aides, party loyalists and rappers. 

Contrary to recent speculation, the list did not include any members of the Trump family or other notable figures such as Rudy Giuliani, Julian Assange or Edward Snowden.

Here are six people you should know about.

1. Steve Bannon

The former chief strategist and long-time Trump adviser was facing trial and a possible conviction for his role in a coordinated scheme to fleece the president’s supporters with a border wall fundraiser.

Bannon faced multiple fraud counts following an indictment for allegedly stealing funds from a charity he controlled, which purported to raise money to help build a wall on the US border with Mexico. The indictment claimed the fund was actually a slush fund for the personal expenses of Bannon and his co-defendants, Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea.

2. Kwame Kilpatrick

The former Detroit mayor was serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges after being found guilty of racketeering and extortion in 2013. Prosecutors had charged that he ran a criminal enterprise out of City Hall while serving as mayor from 2002-2008. 

Among other accusations, Kilpatrick was found guilty of using donations from his fund for the needy to support his own leisure activities. He was convicted of 24 charges, including racketeering, extortion, attempted extortion, bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and filing false tax returns. 

3. Lil Wayne

The rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, was prosecuted on federal weapons charges had been facing up to 10 years in prison. In December, he pleaded guilty to possession of a .45 calibre, gold-plated handgun and six rounds of ammunition despite being a convicted felon following a 2019 search of a private plane in the Miami area. A search warrant said Carter told investigators the gun was a Father’s Day gift.

Lil Wayne has previously voiced his support for Trump and endorsed him for a second term in office, posting a photo of the pair after a “great meeting”. Trump also pardoned the rapper Kodak Black, who had also been prosecuted on federal weapons charges.

 4. Ken Kurson

The former editor of the New York Observer and a close friend of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Kurson had been charged with cyberstalking last October. 

He was accused of repeatedly visiting his victims at work, making false complaints with their employers and “malicious cyber activity”. Kurson was charged with cyberstalking three people and harassing two others, including a friend who he blamed for the disintegration of his marriage. 

When he was editor, Kurson read and provided input on a draft of Donald Trump’s speech to a pro-Israel lobbying group. He later sat in the Trump family’s box at the Republican National Convention. 

5. Anthony Levandoswki

 The former Google engineer had been sentenced in August to 18 months in prison for stealing trade secrets from the search giant, after pleading guilty to transferring 14,000 files from Google before leaving the company. Levandoswki went on to found a start-up called Otto, which was acquired by Uber. 

Uber was accused by Google’s self-driving car unit Waymo of using trade secrets in its driverless-car technology — an allegation that Uber denied. The companies settled their legal dispute in 2018, but Levandoswki had to face criminal charges. 

6. Michael Harris

Co-founder of Death Row Records, Michael “Harry O” Harris was granted clemency after serving nearly 30 years on attempted murder and drug-trafficking charges. His sentence had been due to end in 2028.

Earlier this week it was revealed that the rapper Snoop Dogg – an outspoken Trump critic – had been secretly lobbying the president to free Harris. Death Row Records is known for having signed Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.