(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump granted clemency to dozens of people on Tuesday, including his former strategist Steve Bannon, the rapper Lil Wayne and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, in one of his final official acts as president.
A list of pardons and commutations the White House released early Wednesday, Trump’s last day in office, does not include the president himself. Trump had discussed pre-emptively pardoning himself and associates, but some advisers had cautioned the president against what would have been an unprecedented action, according to people familiar with the matter.
Trump granted a pardon to the rapper Dwayne Carter, known as Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty to a federal gun charge last year, and commuted the sentence of the rapper Bill Kapri, known as Kodak Black, who is serving time for falsifying paperwork to obtain a firearm.
He pardoned a former top fundraiser for the Republican Party, Elliott Broidy, who pleaded guilty in October to illegally lobbying on behalf of a Malaysian businessman seeking to end a federal investigation into the 1MDB scandal.
Other clemency grants include:
- A commutation for Shalom Weiss, who is believed to be serving the longest white-collar sentence in U.S. history, 835 years, for money laundering and other charges stemming from the failure of the National Heritage Life Insurance Co. He fled while on bail and partied with prostitutes at a luxury hotel before the authorities tracked him down in Austria. “He regrets doing that,” Weiss’ nephew, Hershy Marton, said in an interview in December.
- A pardon for Broidy, a fundraiser for both Trump and the Republican National Committee in 2016. Fugitive businessman Jho Low initially paid $6 million to Broidy and promised $75 million more if he succeeded in persuading the Justice Department to walk away from its civil forfeiture case. The back-channel efforts failed and Low was indicted in 2018 on charges of conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB. He has denied wrongdoing.
- A commutation for Kilpatrick, who was convicted in 2013 on 24 counts of racketeering conspiracy, extortion, bribery and tax evasion and sentenced to 28 years in prison. He was mayor of Detroit from 2002 to 2008; prosecutors alleged his corruption contributed to the city’s bankruptcy five years after he left office.
- A commutation for Salmon Melgen, a Palm Beach retinologist who was serving a 17-year sentence for Medicare fraud after billing the government to treat people for eye disease they didn’t have. Melgen’s commutation was supported by Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, a Democrat whom prosecutors alleged pressured federal agencies to help Melgen after receiving gifts and campaign contributions. Charges against Menendez were eventually dropped after a New Jersey jury was unable to reach a verdict.
(Updates with additional clemency grants beginning in fifth paragraph)
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