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President Trump issued a long list of pardons and sentence commutations early Wednesday as he prepared to leave office.
The recipients including former White House adviser Steve Bannon and rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak — as well as former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, whose 30-year sentence was commuted.
They were among 73 people pardoned by the president and 70 others who had their sentences commuted just hours before President-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office.
Trump was not expected to attempt to issue himself or family members a preemptive pardon, sources have told Fox News.
The pardons follow dozens of others handed out in December — including some to Trump’s former aides who were charged as part of the controversial investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia.
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former adviser Roger Stone, and former campaign manager Paul Manafort all received clemency from the president.
Both Stone and Manafort were prosecuted and convicted as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. Flynn was charged after admitting to misleading the FBI, but his prosecution came under fire last year as more details surfaced surrounding the agency’s approach to questioning him.
December’s list also included people whose pleas for forgiveness have been promoted by those supporting the president throughout his term in office, including conservative media personalities and Republican lawmakers.
Alice Marie Johnson, whose life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense was commuted by Trump in 2018, told Fox News Tuesday that she had submitted a list of 100 convicts that Trump should consider for clemency, while acknowledging it was unlikely all of them will be reprieved. Johnson’s case caught headlines in part because of reality star Kim Kardashian’s involvement in petitioning Trump. After the commutation, Kardashian told late night host and frequent Trump critic Jimmy Kimmel: “I have nothing bad to say about the president”
According to Pew Research Center, Trump has issued considerably fewer pardons than other presidents, although he’s also had less time in office than some. Prior to Tuesday, Trump had granted 44, or less than 0.5% of 10,051 requests for clemency. By contrast, former President Obama granted 5% or 1,927 of 36,544 while former President George W. Bush granted 2% or 200 of 11,074.
The White House’s announcement came after it released a farewell video Tuesday of Trump in which he praised his administration’s efforts on a variety of issues.
“We promoted a culture where our laws would be upheld, our heroes honored, our history preserved, and law-abiding citizens are never taken for granted,” he said. “Americans should take tremendous satisfaction in all that we have achieved together. It’s incredible.”
Fox News’ Charles Creitz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.