Donald Trump granted a wave or pardons and commutations to 143 indivduals as one of his final acts as president with the list including political allies, rappers and financiers. Trump's former chief strategist Steven Bannon was the most prominent person pardoned after he was charged with fraud in 2020 for actions during a fundraising campaign for the border wall with Mexico. Trump stopped short of giving himself and his family pardons while his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani was not on the list. White House officials reportedly advised Trump against pardoning himself and his family as it may give the impression they are guilty of crimes.
As one of the final acts of his eight years in office, President Obama announced that he was commuting the sentences of 330 prisoners, most of whom had been serving time for minor drug offences. Just before his second term ended, the White House announced that Obama had granted more commutations than any president in U.S. history. Throughout his time in the White House, Trump has used pardons, commutations and other forms of leniency less frequently than other presidents, particularly his direct predecessor.
In terms of total executive clemency actions, Obama granted the most since Harry S. Truman, according to Department of Justice data. He primarily focused on commutations, orders that cut somebody's prison sentence short. These are different to pardons, which are usually granted after a person has served their time, a forgiveness gesture which also restores somebody's rights (which a commutation does not do). Obama's commutation count comes to 1,715 while he granted 212 pardons. By comparison, Trump's commutation and pardon totals come to 89 and 116, respectively. Along with Steve Bannon, high profile pardons of the Trump presidency include former national security advisor Michael Flynn, former campaign manager Paul Manafort, long-time ally Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, his son-in-law's father.