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From political strategists to rappers: Trump pardoned 73 people before leaving office

US President Donald Trump has pardoned former White House strategist Steve Bannon and 72 others, and also reduced the sentence for 70 convicts. On the last day as head of state, many expected decisions on pardons and commutation of punishment from Trump, writes Air force.

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“President Trump has granted full pardon to Stephen Bannon. Prosecutors pursued Mr. Bannon with fraud charges stemming from his involvement in a political project. Mr. Bannon is an important leader of the conservative movement, known for his political instinct, "- said in a message from the White House.

Steve Bannon led Trump's campaign in the final months of the 2016 campaign and was promoted to White House chief strategist following his election victory. In August 2017, Bannon left the White House.

The US Department of Justice accused Bannon and three of his associates of fraudulent activities in which they embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars in the We Build the Wall campaign, which raised $ 25 million through hundreds of thousands of donations through crowdfunding.

The political strategist received more than a million dollars from this amount, at least part of which he spent on personal expenses, according to federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

After Bannon's arrest, Trump said he regretted this, but noted that he had not communicated with him for several years and at one time strongly opposed private fundraising for the construction of the wall. The White House stressed that the president had nothing to do with this case.

On the subject: Trump pardoned Manafort and the father of his own son-in-law: how did the USA react to this

Who else has Trump pardoned

Having freed 73 people from punishment, the outgoing US President, by the same decree, commuted the punishment for 70 more convicts.

According to Reuters, citing a senior White House source, the advisers managed to dissuade Trump from pardoning himself and his family members. Not a single president has pardoned himself before, lawyers have no consensus on the legality of such a step.

The President of the United States has the right to grant amnesty or commute punishment, that is, reduce the length of time in prison.

A person who has not yet been convicted can also receive a pardon - he does not even have to be charged. The President can grant pardons only for misdemeanors that violate federal laws, but not individual state laws.

Simultaneously with Bannon, Trump pardoned rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, who were convicted under articles on illegal possession and acquisition of weapons.

Lil Wayne, 38, (real name Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.), a five-time Grammy winner, pleaded guilty in December to illegal possession of a gold-encrusted Glock pistol. Given his previous convictions, the musician could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. The rapper is known as a supporter of Trump - he met with the president and publicly defended him.

On his last day at the White House, Trump also pardoned former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who has served a 2013-year sentence since 28 on corruption charges.

Also among those pardoned is political consultant Paul Erickson, the former boyfriend of Russian woman Maria Butina, who was convicted in the United States of "conspiracy to work illegally as a foreign agent." “Erickson was convicted on the basis of a Russian conspiracy fake. After no grounds were found to accuse him of any crimes regarding ties with Russia, he was charged with a petty financial crime, ”the White House said in a statement.

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Erickson was previously sentenced to seven years in prison on fraud and money laundering charges.

Among the pardoned and the defendant in perhaps the most high-profile case in Silicon Valley in recent years - Anthony Lewandowski, whom Google, his former employer, accuses of stealing unmanned vehicle technology.

Soon after leaving the corporation, he founded his own company Otto, which he sold to another giant investing in the development of self-driving cars - Uber.

Google claims that Lewandowski took his team's development with him to a competitor. Uber fired the engineer and apologized, and agreed to pay Google compensation in a civil action.

The case against the engineer, however, became criminal - he was sentenced to 1,5 years in prison on the charges brought against him.

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