Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

Of note: Some pardons and commutations were granted to Trump's allies while others were related to criminal justice issues.

Zoom in: The highest-profile name on the list was Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon. This pardon spared a close former aid from a federal fraud prosecution over his alleged misappropriation of nonprofit funds. Other pardons include:

  • Elliot Broidy, former top Republican fundraiser who pled guilty to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.
  • Rapper Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty to a gun charge.
  • Anthony Levandowski, the engineer at the center of a 2017 lawsuit between Google's self-driving car unit and Uber over alleged theft of trade secrets.
  • Rick Renzi, former Republican congressman from Arizona who was convicted of corruption, corruptionracketeering and money laundering.
  • Duke Cunningham, former Republican congressman from California who pleaded guilty to accepting ver $2.3 million in bribes.
  • Robert Zangrillo, a Miami investor charged with committing fraud and bribery to secure his daughter's admission to USC.

Flashback: Trump in December granted pardons to more than two dozen people, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, associate Roger Stone, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and son-in-law Jared Kushner's father, Charles Kushner.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

4 ffp

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories