Lame-duck President Donald Trump has already doled out a slew of pardons. Now comes word that he may pardon two hip-hop artists who are in trouble on weapons charges.
Trump wants to announce the pardons on Jan. 19 — his final day in office, according to reports. Among the possible pardons are Lil Wayne — with whom he posed for a photo during the presidential campaign — and rapper Kodak Black, who is serving time for falsifying paperwork to obtain a firearm, Bloomberg reported. The prospect of a pardon made Kodak Black tweet that he would donate $1 million to charity if the president freed him. The “Transportin’” artist later deleted the tweet.
Under the Constitution, a president “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”
A second Trump impeachment is growing increasingly possible by the hour. If Trump does not resign “immediately,” speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said on Friday that the House will move to impeach him over his role in inciting a violent mob to attack the Capitol.
Twitter responded to Trump’s sense of timing.
“mf waited till the end of his presidency to do something good,” posted one tweeter.
Another tweeted, “Bout time he did sum roght”
Others called out Wayne and Black as sell-outs: “They’re just uncle toms and I don’t listen to neither one of their music.”
Black is serving a 46-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to federal weapons charges in Florida in 2019. He admitted to falsifying information on background checks for gun purchases in two separate incidents.
“What do you think of the ‘Platinum Plan?’ [Bradford Cohen] sent it to me and I read it,” the “No Flockin’” artists Kodak tweeted in October. “This is what the community needs…. more ownership. That plan is right! I want to help with justice reform when I am out as well. @realDonaldTrump #justicereform #prisonreform.”
In December, Lil Wayne pleaded guilty in federal district court to illegally possessing a loaded, gold-plated handgun while traveling to Florida on a private plane in 2019, WION reported. He is facing up to 10 years in prison.
After his meeting with Trump in October, Lil Wayne tweeted, “Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump.”
The “A Milli” artist added. “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.”
There are other pardons on the table, including preemptive ones for top White House officials who have not yet been charged with crimes such as Trump himself and his family. The president’s oldest daughter, Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, who both hold White House positions, are under consideration for pardons, Bloomberg reported. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, senior adviser Stephen Miller, personnel chief John McEntee, and social media Director Dan Scavino are also on the possible pardon list.
A self-pardon could protect Trump from prosecution over a range of issues “from his federal income tax filings to hush-money payments to an adult film star to his inaugural committee’s spending at venues owned by the Trump family,” Bloomberg reported.
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There’s also the legal scrutiny Trump could face over the Russian interference campaign during the 2016 election.
Trump has already pardoned his 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who’d been convicted of financial crimes and illegal lobbying, and Charles Kushner, the real estate developer and father of his son-in-law. Kushner was convicted of charges that included preparing false tax returns and witness retaliation.