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Trump Pardons Could Point to Future Plans for No. 45

Did Trump leave some clues in these pardons and commutations?

As Trump was getting ready to head to Florida, and with moving trucks having already arrived at Mar-a-Lago, the President was also setting up a vast number of pardons and commutations to go into effect and he was stepping out.

No, he didn’t pardon Joe Exotic, the exuberant owner of a strange Oklahoma zoo who starred in a hit Netflix documentary.  Nor did he issue any pardons for himself or his family, which was somewhat expected.

But Trump did issue a pardon for hip hop superstar Lil Wayne, as well as former White House adviser Steve Bannon.

Trump leaves office on Wednesday, when Joe Biden is sworn in as the nation’s next president. White House officials had argued to Trump that he should not pardon himself or his family because it might look like they are guilty of crimes, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Bannon, who was a key adviser in Trump’s 2016 presidential run, was charged last year with swindling the president’s own supporters over an effort to raise private funds to build the president’s wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He has pleaded not guilty.

“Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen,” the White House said in a statement.

White House officials had advised Trump against pardoning Bannon. The two men have lately rekindled their relationship as Trump sought support for his unproven claims of voter fraud, an official familiar with the situation said.

Given Bannon’s reputation as a man capable of helming a raucous media empire or two, the move has rekindled speculation that Donald Trump could be planning for an audience-facing role in a MAGA-aimed network of sorts.

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