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Lil Wayne, 'Tiger King' Star Joe Exotic & More: Who Did Donald Trump Pardon Before Leaving Office?

Who Did Donald Trump Pardon Before Leaving Office
Source: MEGA (3)

Jan. 20 2021, Published 10:59 a.m. ET

One last move: During the final hours of his presidency, Donald Trump issued 73 pardons. The list included several high-profile names, from former colleagues to celebrities.

A large chunk of the pardons went to individuals who were being helped by criminal justice reform advocates — meaning they were serving long jail sentences despite committing a low-level offense.

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On the other hand, Trump couldn't resist helping his allies, including his former chief strategist Steve Bannon, who in August, pleaded not guilty to charges that claimed he defrauded those who donated money to the border wall campaign.

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Elliott Broidy, a former top fundraiser for Trump, was also pardoned. He pleaded guilty for being involved in a scheme that convinced the administration to drop an investigation that influenced a billionaire to donate millions of dollars to the campaign.

More notable names on the pardon list include rapper and Trump supporter Lil Wayne, who plead guilty to a weapons charge. Fellow rapper Kodak Black was issued a commutation after pleading guilty to the same charge.

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Other names in the entertainment field included Death Row Records co-founder Michael Harris and art dealer and collector Hillel Nahmad.

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One big name that was left off the list? Tiger King star Joe Exotic, who wrote to Trump last year begging for a pardon.

The zookeeper's first attempt occurred over the summer, but was rejected. His legal team then sued the Department of Justice, stating that Exotic's letter was thrown away before Trump himself could even read it.

On December 6, Exotic's lawyer was set to meet with Trump to discuss the issue, but it seems like nothing has prevailed. Exotic was sentenced to 22 years behind bars for animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot against his enemy Carole Baskin.

Many presumed that Trump would also pardon himself and a few of his family members, though he has yet to do so. He has until noon on Wednesday, January 20, to tie up any loose ends.

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