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Trump pardons Steve Bannon, others, in final clemency

Steve Bannon speaks with reporters in New York on August 20, 2020 after pleading not guilty to charges of defrauding donors. Associated Press/Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

Trump pardons Steve Bannon, others, in final clemency

Hours before Joe Biden’s inauguration, outgoing President Donald Trump commuted the sentences of 70 people and granted pardons to 73 others early Wednesday. They include former chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was scheduled to face trial in May for siphoning money from a fundraising campaign to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The White House statement said he served as “an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen.”

Who else was pardoned? Trump also extended clemency to Elliott Broidy, a former fundraiser for Trump who illegally lobbied on behalf of foreign countries to deport Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui and end an inquiry into Malaysia’s 1MDB corruption scandal. Three others: Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges, and rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, who were prosecuted on federal weapons charges.

Dig deeper: Read Kyle Ziemnick’s report in The Sift on the charges against Bannon.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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Tim Miller

SamIAmHis - I corrected the post. It was Kilpatrick who has served seven years, in prison, not as president. My bad. Thank you for pointing out my error.


Tim Miller, I am sure it was a Freudian slip, but Trump has not already served 7 years.  In my opinion he has served the American people for 4 years as president.  It turned out to be a 4 years of attempted demoraliztion through lies by the Democrats which proved to be very effective as I read the comments from the left. They never gave the office he served any respect, bullied him with endless investigations, never honored any of his accomplishments and ultimately passed articles of impeachment a second time.  This just days before he left office after losing in a very contested election process.  What an example they have set for the upcoming Biden term.  Do they think they can command respect through intimidation?  If it were not for being a born again Christian and knowing God's word is true, I would have a hard time praying for this administration.  Because I know the Lord sets kings up and takes them down, I will continue to believe that I can pray for him to work through the current placeholder to achieve his glorious ends, just as has done through every previous president.


I am no fan of Kwame Kilpatrick, but as Mr. Miller acknowleges, 30 years is a very long sentence.  And, what he does not emphasize is that 1) Trump only commuted his sentence, he didn't pardon him.  Also he does not mention that 2) Kilpatrick has already served about 7 years in prison; 3) and under Michigan law he cannot hold state or local office for 20 years after his conviction.  Is this really an egregious example of "refilling the swamp?" 

Tim Miller

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick assaulted police officers, fudged murder numbers, and looted public and campaign funds for personal gain. As far as I know, he has never taken responsibility or expressed remorse for his actions. Several Democrats very courageously fought his corruption and ensured his conviction.

I didn't rejoice when Kilpatrick got sentenced to thirty years. That's a very long time. But, when you're fudging the homicide numbers and covering up a corrupt police department, there are real victims. When you accept bribes to give unqualified contractors public works jobs, and they do it wrong, there are real victims. 

$8.4 million. That's how much Kwame Kilpatrick cost the city of Detroit by lying under oath in one trial for firing two police officers whose investigation was getting close to his corruption. He appointed his friends to be his body guards, and they racked up overtime while they partied with him. He had an affair with the person a federal judge had appointed to oversee Kilpatrick's police department!

Next time you want to criticize the corruption in an American city, make sure you add the Republican Party to the list of those who corrupted it. Because Republican business leaders bankrolled Kilpatrick. They covered for him. They lobbied for him after he was convicted. And a Republican President commuted his sentence despite the fact that he will not take responsibility for his actions.