Trump grants pardons to Lil Wayne, Steve Bannon in final hours of his presidency

No pardon for the Tiger King though.

Sulaiman Daud | January 20, 2021, 03:16 PM

During his final hours as the President of the United States, Donald Trump used his powers of clemency to grant full pardons to 73 people and commuted the sentences of 70 others.

The White House released a statement on Jan. 20 (Singapore time) with the full list of people who were granted pardons.

One of them is Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was arrested and charged with fraud in Aug. 2020.

Bannon allegedly collected US$25 million from Trump supporters to help build a wall along the border with Mexico, but used US$1 million of it for personal expenses.

There were other familiar names, like rap artists Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., better known as Lil' Wayne, and Bill K. Kapri, also known as Kodak Black.

Trump granted them pardons for alleged weapons possession and falsifying information on forms to buy firearms, respectively.

No pardon for the Tiger King

However, at least one person who had been hoping for a pardon didn't get one.

Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, better known as "Tiger King" Joe Exotic from the hit Netflix series, is serving a 22-year-sentence for plotting to kill Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin, and other animal cruelty charges.

However, he was so confident of receiving a pardon that his legal team reportedly booked a limousine to take him away from jail, according to NME.

Criticised for previous pardons

Trump has previously been criticised for his choice of pardons.

He pardoned a Navy SEAL platoon leader, Eddie Gallagher in Nov. 2019, a decision criticised by military brass.

Gallagher was reported by his own men for, among other things, allegedly shooting a school-aged girl and an elderly man from a sniper's post.

He was acquitted of murder but convicted of posing with the dead body of a teenage Islamic State captive he had killed with a hunting knife.

In Dec. 2020, Trump pardoned four men working for private security firm Blackwater of killing Iraqi civilians, a decision which the United Nations said violated international law.

In the final days of his presidency, the New York Times reported that a man seeking a pardon was told that Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani could help get him one for a fee of US$2 million.

Giuliani tweeted what appeared to be a denial in reference to the Times story, calling the claims "false, defamatory and malicious."

Top image from Getty Images and Lil Wayne's Facebook page.