Rumors that President Donald J. Trump would issue a pardon to Lil Wayne have turned out to be true.
According to Fox News, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Trump issued a long list of pardons and sentence commutations. Other recipients of pardons and commutations included controversial former White House adviser Steve Bannon and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, whose 30-year sentence was commuted.
CNN reports that a press release from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “President Trump granted a full pardon to Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., also known as ‘Lil Wayne.’ Mr. Carter pled guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, owing to a conviction over 10 years ago.”
Rapper Kodak Black, who was serving a nearly four-year prison sentence on a federal firearms charge stemming from a May 2019 arrest, also received a pardon, according to XXL.
We previously reported on rumors that Trump might pardon Death Row Records co-founder Michael “Harry O” Harris, and that turned out to be true as well. He, too, received a pardon.
XXL reports that Black and Wayne’s lawyer, Bradford Cohen, said in a statement, “President Trump and his administration have been tireless advocates on behalf of the African-American community. These pardons is [sic] a perfect example of this administration following up on its reforms and commitments. Thank you to President Trump for his advocacy and dedication to justice reform.”
Trump still has the official power to issue further pardons until noon today, when his four-year term comes to an end. Last-minute pardons, including controversial ones, are not unusual for outgoing presidents.
For example: as President Bill Clinton left office in 2001, he pardoned fugitive financier Marc Rich. Critics felt that it was a “thank you” for financial contributions. And in 1992, as his term was ending, President George H.W. Bush pardoned aides involved in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Many of Trump’s pardons and commutations are being viewed as “thank yous” to his allies. In the case of Bannon, he was instrumental in Trump’s first presidential campaign and was part of his administration in the early days of his presidency. In the case of Wayne, the rapper endorsed the President in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election; Wayne even tweeted, “Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done.”
Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done. ???????? pic.twitter.com/Q9c5k1yMWf— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) October 29, 2020