Trump grants clemency to 143 people before leaving office

Before leaving office, President Donald Trump grants clemency to 143 people, including former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Just before 1 a.m. ET Wednesday, President Trump granted pardons to 73 people and commuted sentences for 70 others. The list ranges from Trump allies to celebrities to non-violent drug offenders.

One of Trump’s top fundraisers, Elliot Broidy, is receiving a full pardon after pleading guilty to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws.

Further, Trump extended pardons to three former Republican congressmen: former representatives Rick Renzi, Robert Hayes and Duke Cunningham and commutated the sentence of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving time on corruption charges.

Aviem Sella, an Israeli air force officer who the U.S. accused of being a spy,
Bob Zangrillo, the Miami developer and venture capitalist charged in the Varsity Blues college admission scandal and Robert Hayes, who pleaded guilty in 2019 to lying to the F.B.I, also received pardons.

Rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, both convicted of weapon charges, were also included on the list.

Missing from the list were WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Tiger King star Joe Exotic — whose supporters had pushed for pardons.

Trump has until noon on Wednesday to issue any final pardons before leaving office.

The clemency announcement came after Trump delivered a farewell message video on his last full day in office.

“I did not seek the path that would get the least criticism. I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices, because that’s what you elected me to do,” Trump said.

He extended his “best wishes” to the new administration.

“This week we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous. We extend our best wishes and also want them to have luck, a very important word.”

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