ארה"ב נעצר סטיב באנון היועץ לשעבר של דונלד טראמפ
Outgoing-U.S. President Donald Trump and former White House aide Steve Bannon
Photo: MCT
Aviem Sela at his home in 2007

Trump pardons Aviem Sella, indicted in Pollard case

In his last day in office, the president also gives clemency to former top aide Steve Bannon, rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges

Reuters |
Updated: 01.20.21 , 09:20
U.S. President Donald Trump in his last day in office granted pardoned Aviem Sella, an Israeli citizen who was indicted in 1986 for espionage in relation to the Jonathan Pollard case.
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  • Sella, 75, a former Israeli Air Force colonel, allegedly tasked with recruiting Pollard, was never extradited to the U.S. and was never charged in Israel.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    Aviam Sela at his home in 2007
    Aviam Sela at his home in 2007
    Aviem Sela at his home in 2007
    (Photo: Ynet)
    His request for clemency was supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and Miriam Adelson.
    The outgoing president also gave clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon as part of a wave of pardons and commutations issued in his final hours in office, a senior administration official said, but did not pardon himself, members of his family or lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
    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.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    ארה"ב נעצר סטיב באנון היועץ לשעבר של דונלד טראמפ
    ארה"ב נעצר סטיב באנון היועץ לשעבר של דונלד טראמפ
    Outgoing-U.S. President Donald Trump and former White House aide Steve Bannon
    (Photo: MCT)
    Trump also pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top fundraiser for Trump who pleaded guilty last year to violating foreign lobbying laws, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges, a senior administration official said. Rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black who were prosecuted on federal weapons offenses, were also granted pardons.
    Bannon, who was a key adviser in Trump’s 2016 presidential run, was charged last year with swindling Trump 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.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    Rapper Lil Wayne
    Rapper Lil Wayne
    Rapper Lil Wayne
    (Photo: MCT)
    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.
    Giuliani, who has been at the forefront of unsuccessful efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, has not been charged with a crime, but investigators have been probing his activities in Ukraine.

    Prominent allies

    Bannon, 67, is the latest prominent political ally to receive clemency from Trump, who has often used the powers of the executive branch to reward loyalists and punish his enemies.
    Trump previously pardoned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI about his conversation with the former Russian ambassador, and he commuted the prison term for Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress during its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
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    Former Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy
    Former Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy
    Former Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy
    (Photo: AP)
    Bannon can still be charged in state court in New York, where a pardon would not help him, said Daniel R. Alonso, a former prosecutor now at the Buckley law firm. Fraud prosecutions are frequently brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Alonso said.
    Broidy, who was a top fundraiser for Trump during the 2016 campaign, pleaded guilty in October to violating lobbying laws by attempting to influence the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    Rapper Kodak Black
    Rapper Kodak Black
    Rapper Kodak Black
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Lil Wayne, 38, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., pleaded guilty in federal court in December to illegally possessing a firearm and faced up to 10 years in prison. He has expressed support for Trump’s criminal justice reform efforts.
    Kodak Black, 23, who was born Bill Kahan Kapri, is in federal prison for making a false statement in order to buy a firearm.

    First published: 08:29 , 01.20.21
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