Trump issues pardons and commutations during last day in office

Briana Vannozzi, Anchor | January 20, 2021 | Politics
Pardons went to a handful of people with ties to New Jersey

During his final hours as president, Donald Trump issued more than 140 pardons and commutations. The last-minute acts of clemency were expected and largely went to prominent allies and other public figures, among them, Trump’s 2016 campaign chief and former White House senior adviser Steve Bannon.

Pardons also went to a handful of people with ties to New Jersey, including Salomon Melgen who was found guilty of defrauding Medicare during a corruption trial involving Sen. Bob Menendez; George Gilmore, the longtime Ocean County Republican political boss; and Ken Kurson, a confidant of Jared Kushner and one-time state Assembly candidate.

Trump also pardoned low-level convicted drug offenders and granted clemency less frequently than any other president in modern history. President Obama, in contrast, used the federal pardon far more frequently than any other chief executive, issuing 330 commutations on his final day in office.