Former President Donald Trump’s 11th-hour grant of clemency to 143 people, including White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon, underscored how Trump used his presidential power to benefit allies and political backers. However, his decision to not preemptively pardon himself or his family members, as well as associates like personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, could impact his potential civil and criminal liability as a private citizen, reports Reuters. Not receiving a pardon makes it more likely that Giuliani would cooperate with prosecutors and implicate Trump if charged.
The legal confusion and questions surrounding clemency are exemplified by the current case of rapper Kodak Black, who received clemency from Trump after a 46-month sentence in federal prison for making false statements on paperwork related to a gun purchase but now could be transported to South Carolina to face a longstanding sexual assault charge there, reports the Courthouse News Service. But, despite the circus, the New York Times also reports that the long list of pardons his team prepared for him to sign on his final full day in office included the names of people who have been serving life sentences for drug or fraud charges and who for years have been seeking clemency.