President Donald Trump granted pardons to 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of an additional 70 in the final hours of his presidency.
The release from the White House said of Bannon: "Prosecutors pursued Mr. Bannon with charges related to fraud stemming from his involvement in a political project. Mr. Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen."
"I feel very badly. I haven’t been dealing with him for a very long period of time," Trump told reporters. “I don’t like that project. I thought it was being done for showboating reasons.”
Rapper Lil Wayne, also known as Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., was granted a full pardon. Carter was prosecuted on federal weapons charges and "pled guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, owing to a conviction over 10 years ago," according to the White House announcement. The announcement notes that Carter has since "exhibited this generosity through commitment to a variety of charities, including donations to research hospitals and a host of foodbanks." His pardon is supported by football coach Deion Sanders and businessman Brett Berish.
Rapper Kodak Black, also known as Bill Kapri, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for making a false statement on a federal document and has served nearly half of his sentence. The White House announcement noted that Kapri's commutation is supported by many religious and community leaders, and that he was involved in "numerous philanthropic efforts" prior to his conviction.
Former mayor of Detroit, Kilpatrick has served about seven years of a 28-year prison term for his role in a racketeering and bribery scheme while in office. Prominent members of the Detroit community, including Alice Johnson, Diamond and Silk, and pastor Paula White, support his commutation.
Broidy, a former top fundraiser for Trump during the 2016 campaign, pleaded guilty in October 2020 to violating lobbying laws by attempting to influence the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.
Trump also granted full pardons to Todd Farha, Thaddeus Bereday, William Kale, Paul Behrens, and Peter Clay, figures who are "widely cited as a case study in overcriminalization," and who have attracted broad support for their pardons, according to the White House announcement.
"In 2008, Messrs. Farha, Bereday, Kale, Behrens, and Clay were criminally prosecuted for a state regulatory matter involving the reporting of expenditures to a state health agency," the announcement of their pardon reads.
"The expenditures reported were based on actual monies spent, and the reporting methodology was reviewed and endorsed by those with expertise in the state regulatory scheme. Notably, there was no evidence that any of the individuals were motivated by greed. And in fact, the sentencing judge called the likelihood that there was any personal financial motivation 'infinitesimal.'
"The judge imposed a range of sentences from probation to three years’ imprisonment, reflecting the conduct as an aberration from these individuals’ otherwise law-abiding lives. Messrs. Farha, Bereday, Kale, Behrens, and Clay are described as devoted to their family and their communities, and have weathered their convictions without complaint."
The pardon power applies to federal crimes and is one of the broadest powers available to a president. The decision to pardon isn't reviewable by other branches of government, and the president doesn't have to provide a reason for issuing a pardon.
Individuals not on the list of pardons and commutations—but were frequently discussed on social media prior to the White House announcement—include WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, former CIA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Joe Exotic, a former zoo operator who was convicted on charges of animal abuse and an attempted murder-for-hire plot.