Donald Trump pardons Steve Bannon in final hours as President but Joe Exotic misses out

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Donald Trump has pardoned 73 people and commuted the sentences of a further 70 in his final hours in office.

The US President has pardoned former chief strategist Steve Bannon as part of a late flurry of clemency action benefiting nearly 150 people, including rap stars and former members of US Congress.

But there was no clemency for Joe 'Tiger King' Exotic who is currently serving a 22-year sentence for trying to hire a hitman to kill zoo keeper rival Carole Baskin.

The eccentric tiger trader was reportedly so confident he would receive a presidential pardon that his team claimed to have parked a limousine near his prison to escort him home.

The pardons and commutations for 143 people, including the surprise addition of Bannon, were announced after midnight on Wednesday in the final hours of Trump's White House term.

Donald Trump issued 143 pardons and commutations
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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The NY Times reports that the release of the list of those granted clemency was due earlier on Tuesday, but the debate over Bannon was part of the delay.

He was charged last year with swindling Trump supporters over an effort to raise private funds to build the president's wall on the US-Mexico border.

A pardon cancels a criminal conviction, while a commutation shortens or ends a prison sentence.

Steve Bannon was charged with fraud over a scheme to privately fund a border wall
(Image: Getty Images)

When it comes to crimes charged in a federal court, the US president has virtually unlimited power to pardon.

Trump used his final hours in power to add to an already considerable clemency effort.

In December alone, he pardoned or commuted the sentences of more than four dozen people, before the major surge – originally planned to be done in batches.

However, the Capitol riots scuppered that and instead the President did many in fell swoop.

Joe 'Tiger King' Exotic did not make the list
(Image: Netflix US/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski – sentenced for stealing a trade secret on self-driving cars months before he briefly headed Uber Technologies Inc's rival unit – was given a full pardon.

The 40-year-old was sentenced in August to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty in March.

He was not in custody but a judge had said he could enter custody once the Covid-19 pandemic subsided.

Other last minute additions included Rapper Lil Wayne – real name Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. – who has been granted a full pardon in relation to firearms charges 10 years ago.

Lil Wayne was pardoned for a firearms conviction
(Image: WireImage)

Prominent artist and community leader Kodak Black – real name Bill K. Kapri – was also among the 11th hour blitz.

He was sentenced to 46 months in prison for making a false statement on a Federal document. He has served nearly half of his sentence.

Former Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick also saw his sentence for racketeering and bribery while he held public office commuted.

He had served approximately seven years inside.

The full list of those benefiting from the outgoing President's clemency are:

Todd Boulanger

Abel Holtz

Representative Rick Renzi

Kenneth Kurson

Casey Urlacher

Carl Andrews Boggs

Jaime A. Davidson

James E. Johnson, Jr.

Tommaso Buti

Bill K. Kapri

Jawad A. Musa 

Adriana Shayota

Glen Moss

Anthony Levandowski

Aviem Sella

Michael Liberty

Greg Reyes

Ferrell Damon Scott 

Jerry Donnell Walden

Jeffrey Alan Conway

Benedict Olberding

Syrita Steib-Martin

Lou Hobbs

Matthew Antoine Canady

Mario Claiborne

Rodney Nakia Gibson

Tom Leroy Whitehurst

Monstsho Eugene Vernon

Luis Fernando Sicard

DeWayne Phelps

Isaac Nelson

Traie Tavares Kelly

Javier Gonzales

Eric Wesley Patton

Robert William Cawthon

Hal Knudson Mergler

Gary Evan Hendler

John Harold Wall

Steven Samuel Grantham

Clarence Olin Freeman

Fred Keith Alford

John Knock

Kenneth Charles Fragoso

Luis Gonzalez

Anthony DeJohn

Corvain Cooper

Way Quoe Long

Michael Pelletier

Craig Cesal

Darrell Frazier

Lavonne Roach

Blanca Virgen

Robert Francis

Brian Simmons

Derrick Smith

Raymond Hersman

David Barren

James Romans

Jonathon Braun

Michael Harris

Kyle Kimoto

Chalana McFarland

Eliyahu Weinstein

John Estin Davis

Alex Adjmi 

Elliott Broidy

Stephen K. Bannon

Douglas Jemal

Noah Kleinman

Dr. Scott Harkonen

Johnny D. Phillips, Jr

Dr. Mahmoud Reza Banki

Tena Logan

MaryAnne Locke

April Coots

Caroline Yeats

Jodi Lynn Richter

Kristina Bohnenkamp

Mary Roberts

Cassandra Ann Kasowski

Lerna Lea Paulson

Ann Butler

Sydney Navarro

Tara Perry

John Nystrom

Gregory Jorgensen, Deborah Jorgensen, Martin Jorgensen

Jessica Frease

Robert Cannon “Robin” Hayes

Thomas Kenton “Ken” Ford

Jon Harder

Scott Conor Crosby

Chris Young

Adrianne Miller

Lynn Barney

Joshua J. Smith

Amy Povah

Dr. Frederick Nahas

David Tamman

Dr. Faustino Bernadett

Paul Erickson

Kwame Kilpatrick

Fred “Dave” Clark

Todd Farha, Thaddeus Bereday, William Kale, Paul Behrens, Peter Clay

David Rowland

Randall “Duke” Cunningham

William Walters

Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.

Stephen Odzer 

James Brian Cruz

Joey Hancock

David E. Miller 

James Austin Hayes

Drew Brownstein

Robert Bowker

Amir Khan

Shalom Weiss

Salomon Melgen

Patrick Lee Swisher

Robert Sherrill

Dr. Robert S. Corkern

David Lamar Clanton

George Gilmore

Desiree Perez

Robert “Bob” Zangrillo 

Hillel Nahmad

Brian McSwain

John Duncan Fordham

William “Ed” Henry