Kodak Black and Lil Wayne were among some of Trump’s last and most notable figures to be pardoned. Wednesday morning saw 143 pardons and commutations announced by former President Trump in his final hours occupying the office. Lil Wayne and Kodak Black were set up for meetings with former President Trump by lawyer Bradford Cohen.
Wayne was charged with possession of a gold-plated .45 caliber Glock handgun and ammunition upon search of his private plane in December of 2019. Wayne has been unable to legally carry a firearm since previously pleading guilty to unlawful gun possession in 2009 for which he served eight months on Rikers Island. Wayne’s lawyer said in a statement on Wednesday that the pardon was “consistent with the views of many jurists- including Amy Coney Barrett- that prosecuting a nonviolent citizen for merely possessing a firearm violates the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” and explained that the firearm had never been operated, just purchased for him as a gift. Without the pardon, Wayne would be facing up to ten years in prison.
Kodak Black, who was represented by Cohen, was granted a commutation for the remainder of his 46-month sentence which he received for lying about his past charges on background paperwork in an attempt to buy firearms. He has currently served about half of his sentence and could be released as early as Wednesday. Other charges against the rapper include kidnapping, drug possession, and sexual assault. “In April 2019, the Associated Press reported that he had been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly assaulting a highschool student after a 2016 concert in Florence, S.C.,” The New York Times writes. The White House says that numerous religious leaders wrote in favor of commuting the sentence as well as other musicians such as Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty, and Lil Pump. The press release also mentioned the monetary donations the rapper has recently made, such as his generous donation to David Portnoy’s Barstool fund which helps small businesses affected by the pandemic.
Before the November presidential election, Wayne had met with Trump and later tweeted a photo of the two of them with a caption in support of Trump. “Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump. besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done,” the rapper wrote. Mr. Cohen has said that Wayne’s gun charge was not a factor in his support for the president but admitted it may have been a factor in the ultimate decision to pardon him. “It never hurts that someone gets a full understanding of an individual when they’re just looking at a piece of paper,” Cohen told The New York Times. “In hindsight, I guess it worked out.”