US President Donald Trump pardoned 73 people and commuted the sentences for another 70. This was reported by the press service of the White House.
The list includes former adviser to the American leader Stephen Bannon, political consultant of the Republican Party Paul Erickson, associated with the Russian Maria Butina, rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black. Trump also pardoned former Google engineer Anthony Lewandowski, who was sentenced to prison to steal commercial information and pass it on to competitors.
The US media also assumed that Trump would preemptively pardon himself, family members, and some Republicans, but this did not happen. According to Reuters, the president was dissuaded from this by lawyers. Otherwise, he would have allegedly put himself in a dangerous position in the light of possible impeachment. According to White House legal adviser Pat Cipollone, this could be regarded as an indirect admission of guilt.
Presidential pardons in the United States are not subject to appeal. Many presidents have used these powers to remove the prosecution of convicts, including their political supporters.
Pardons are one of the president’s duties, which he must fulfill before the end of his term. Trump started granting pardons before the Christmas holidays. However, the process was suspended shortly before January 6, when there were riots in the Capitol during the approval of the election results.