President Donald Trump on Wednesday granted clemency to more than 140 people in one of his final acts as commander-in-chief, including his former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon.
President Trump announced a wave of pardons and commutations shortly after midnight on Wednesday. Bannon, rapper Lil Wayne, GOP fundraiser Elliot Broidy and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick were among the notable figures to receive clemency, along with dozens of lower profile individuals whose cases were raised by criminal justice reform advocates.
“Mr. Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen,” press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in announcing Bannon’s pardon.
Bannon was a top adviser on Trump’s 2016 campaign and served as the chief White House strategist for roughly seven months.
President Donald Trump issued pardons to several individuals who were charged with non-violent drug offenses, including Tena Logan, MaryAnne Locke and Caroline Yeats and Alice Johnson, who Trump pardoned and who became a face of the White House’s criminal justice reform efforts.
Presidents will usually issue a flurry of pardons in their final day in office. There was speculation in recent weeks that Trump would move to preemptively pardon himself or his adult children to shield them from federal charges after leaving office. Trump opted against doing so, though he still faces a Senate impeachment trial in the coming weeks and the prospect of state investigations.
Donald Trump is slated to leave Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning, foregoing the usual practice of attending the incoming president’s inauguration. Trump will be sent off with a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews outside the district. Meanwhile, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States around noon during a pared-down ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.