Update, January 20: Trump did indeed pardon Lil Wayne on his last day in office, along with Kodak Black. Both rappers had been prosecuted on federal weapons charges. Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., better known as Lil Wayne, was granted a full pardon, and Bill Kapri, known as Kodak Black, was granted a commutation. In statements accompanying the 73 grants of clemency Trump doled out on his final day as president, he cited Lil Wayne’s charitable contributions and Kodak Black’s support from Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, and more. “President Trump and his administration have been tireless advocates on behalf of the African-American community,” Bradford Cohen, a lawyer for Kodak Black said in a statement to Vulture. “These pardons are a perfect example of this administration following up on its reforms and commitments.” Lil Wayne’s defense attorney, Howard Srebnick added, “A pardon for Mr. Carter is consistent with the views of many jurists—including Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett—that prosecuting a non-violent citizen for merely possessing a firearm violates the Second Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.” The firearm, he pointed out in his statement to Vulture, was a gold-plated collector’s piece which was never fired.
Trump also pardoned former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and is expected to grant clemency to Steve Bannon.
January 18: If you assumed having less than 48 hours left in his presidential term meant Donald Trump was just going to lay low, you’re forgetting that he’s a man who is familiar with sweeps week and, as the former host of NBC’s The Apprentice, knows there’s always more attention to be grabbed. According to the New York Times, the president is preparing to issue “at least 60 pardons or commutations and perhaps more than 100” on his last day in office. Among the likely candidates? Lil Wayne.
Charged in November, the rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., pleaded guilty last month to felony gun possession ahead of the holidays. Carter was found carrying a gold-plated handgun in his luggage on a private plane flight arriving in Florida’s Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport last December; the incident was cited as a parole violation.
While Trump is reportedly still assembling his pardon list (and you never know what that guy will do), Lil Wayne did meet with him publicly in October during the lead-up to the election and tweeted in support of the president’s “Platinum Plan” to help Black Americans. “He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done,” the rapper tweeted, which fans took as an endorsement of POTUS. The endorsement allegedly cost Lil Wayne his relationship at the time, which seems like something Trump would absolutely factor in when considering who deserves clemency.
The hearing for Carter’s sentencing is currently scheduled for January 28.