Outgoing Pres Trump pardons 73 people, including ex-aide Bannon, on last day

Trump tells people he's decided to pardon Steve Bannon as one of his final acts in office

Steve Bannon

WASHINGTON, Jan 20 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Outgoing US President Donald Trump on Wednesday granted pardon to 73 people, including his former White House adviser Steve Bannon, in his last day in office, the White House said.

Bannon, 67, was charged last year with defrauding Trump supporters of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a border wall fundraising campaign. He has pleaded not guilty.

Bannon was an architect of Trump’s 2016 election victory and later served as chief White House strategist. He left the White House in August 2017.

“Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen,” the White House said in a statement.

The 73 individuals Trump granted clemency also include Elliott Broidy, a major Republican Party fundraiser who pleaded guilty in October to violating foreign lobbying laws, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was sentenced in 2013 to 28 years in prison on corruption charges.

Apart from that, Trump issued a pardon to Anthony Levandowski, a former Uber executive who was charged with stealing trade secrets from Google.

The rapper Lil Wayne received a pardon after pleading guilty to a gun possession charge in Miami. Another rapper, Kodak Black, received a commutation after he pleaded guilty to a weapons charge.

Trump also offered clemency to Paul Erickson, the conservative political operative and ex-boyfiend of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges; Robin Hayes, a North Carolina political donor convicted of trying to bribe officials; William Walters, a professional sports gambler convicted of insider trading; and Aviem Sella, an Israeli air force officer who the US accused of being a spy.

Bob Zangrillo, the Miami developer and venture capitalist charged in the Varsity Blues college admission scandal, also received a pardon. None of the other parents caught up in the probe were pardoned.

President-elect Joe Biden, who beat Trump in an election last year, was due to be sworn in as the nation’s next president later Wednesday. — NNN-AGENCIES