Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Trump expected to offer presidential pardons to Lil Wayne, many others on last day in office

President Donald Trump is likely to grant clemency to rapper Lil Wayne in a final wave of pardons and commutations that is not expected to include lawyer Rudy Giuliani or ex-aide Steve Bannon, US media outlets are reporting.

Mr Trump is expected to issue more than 100 pardons and commutations on his last full day in office.

Sources familiar with the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity to the New York Times and CNN, said Mr Trump appeared to have been dissuaded from pardoning himself or members of his family.

Lil Wayne pleaded guilty last month to possessing a loaded, gold-plated handgun when his chartered jet landed in Miami in December 2019.

He faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison at a January 28 hearing in Miami.

Lil Wayne appeared to support Mr Trump during last year's presidential campaign when he tweeted a photo of himself with the president and said he backed Mr Trump's criminal justice reform program and economic plan for African Americans.

The embedded tweet no longer exists, or the account has been suspended.

The sources confirmed a New York Times report that the list of pardons and commutations is expected to include former New York Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, 76, who was convicted of corruption charges in 2015.

Mr Trump's list is not expected to include Mr Giuliani, Mr's Trump personal lawyer who has been a vocal proponent of the president's claims of voter fraud in the November 3 presidential election won by Joe Biden.

Mr Giuliani has not been charged with a crime, but it is possible to receive a pre-emptive pardon for future charges.

The sources also said a pardon is unlikely to be granted to Steve Bannon, who helped Mr Trump win election in 2016 and was a senior White House adviser.

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, was also not expected to get a pardon, the sources said.

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