- U.S.The Telegraph
In his last day in office as US president, Donald Trump granted pardons to 73 people and commuted the sentences of another 70. Below are some of the details given by the White House of who was chosen, and why. Todd Boulanger – Full pardon In 2008, Mr Boulanger pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. He has taken full responsibility for his conduct. Mr Boulanger is a veteran of the United States Army Reserves and was honorably discharged. He has also received an award from the City of the District of Columbia for heroism for stopping and apprehending an individual who assaulted an elderly woman with a deadly weapon on Capitol Hill. Abel Holtz – Full pardon Mr Holtz is 86. In 1995, he pled guilty to one count of impeding a grand jury investigation and was sentenced to 45 days in prison. Rick Renzi – Full pardon In 2013, Mr Renzi - a father of 12 - was convicted of extortion, bribery, insurance fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. He was sentenced to two years in Federal prison, two years of supervised release, and paid a $25,000 fine. Before his conviction, he served three terms in the House of Representatives. His constituents considered him a strong advocate for better housing, quality education, and improved healthcare—especially for the underprivileged and Native Americans. Kenneth Kurson – Full pardon Prosecutors have charged Mr Kurson with cyberstalking related to his divorce from his ex-wife in 2015. In a letter to the prosecutors, Mr. Kurson’s ex-wife wrote on his behalf that she never wanted this investigation or arrest and, “repeatedly asked for the FBI to drop it… I hired a lawyer to protect me from being forced into yet another round of questioning. My disgust with this arrest and the subsequent articles is bottomless…” Casey Urlacher – Full pardon Mr Urlacher, the Mayor of Mettawa, Illinois, has been charged with conspiracy to engage in illegal gambling. Throughout his life, he has been committed to public service and has consistently given back to his community. Carl Andrews Boggs – Full pardon In 2013, Mr Boggs pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy. Since his release, he has rebuilt his company, has employed hundreds of people, and has dedicated countless hours and financial resources to his community. Jaime A Davidson – Sentence commuted In 1993, Mr Davidson was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in relation to the murder of an undercover officer. Notably, witnesses who testified against him later recanted their testimony in sworn affidavits and further attested that Mr Davidson had no involvement. The admitted shooter has already been released from prison.
Biden's transition team lawyers have reminded Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' niece, Meena, that she can't profit off her famous aunt's image, after she unveiled a collaboration between her company and Beats By Dre.Why it matters: Following Republican attacks, President-elect Joe Biden pledged that neither his family nor Harris' would profit from their service as president and vice president. Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * While Meena Harris did nothing illegal, it underscored the challenge of keeping relatives in line, and of adhering to the higher ethical standards that the incoming administration has pledged.The backdrop: The specially curated products come in a black box and include a black hoodie emblazoned with the word AMBITIOUS on the front; a Bluetooth speaker with the word PHENOMENAL across it; and the over-ear headphones. * Ambitious refers to the criticism some leveled against Harris — who was a first-term senator — as Biden weighed a variety of female candidates to be his running mate. * Phenomenal is a female-powered lifestyle brand of which Meena Harris is CEO.The spine connecting the two earpieces reads, "The First But Not The Last," an apparent reference to Kamala Harris' becoming the first female vice president. * While the products are not for sale, they were gifted to influencers and celebrities ahead of the inauguration.The team surrounding the incoming vice president was not made aware of the collaboration in advance, people familiar with the situation told Axios. The lawyers followed up and told Meena Harris that she — like anyone else — cannot profit off of Harris' image or likeness once she becomes vice president. * Meena Harris's team did not respond to a request for comment. * Meena is the daughter of Kamala Harris' sister, Maya.Between the lines: The optics of Meena Harris' business ventures are especially challenging after Democrats spent four years criticizing business deals involving President Trump and his children, and after Biden's public pledge to avoid any influence-peddling. * “My son, my family will not be involved in any business, any enterprise that is in conflict with or appears to be in conflict,” he said last year. * In December, lawyers for the presidential transition team started "drafting new rules for the Biden White House that are likely to be more restrictive than the rules that governed the Obama administration," per the Washington Post. The bottom line: Phenomenal has sold several other items inspired by Kamala Harris since Biden announced her as his running mate. * They include a sweatshirt with "MVP" on it, standing for "Madam Vice President," and another with the phrase "I'm speaking" on the front — a nod to a moment when Kamala Harris complained about being interrupted during a vice-presidential debate. * After Kamala Harris received the "too-ambitious" criticism, her niece created and sold a pink sweatshirt with "AMBITIOUS" written on the front. * “I look at her as another figure in history and someone to be celebrated,” she said of her aunt during an interview with the New York Times.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
On the last day of his presidency, Trump decided to grant a full pardon to Lil Wayne, who was among over 70 people to get a pardon from the president.
- PoliticsThe Takeout
Joe Biden got up early this morning to go to Mass. Then he dropped by the Capitol to get inaugurated. Then he and Vice-President Harris swung by Arlington National Cemetery to pay tribute at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And now he’s in the Oval Office, signing executive orders. The man has had a day. The Jewish mother in me is really hoping that he remembered to eat. Were the pockets of his overcoat big enough to hide snacks? (That is something I, personally, always look for when I buy a new coat.)
The Wall Street Journal reported that it's not clear how serious he is about creating the "Patriot Party."
A picture says a thousand words.
- CelebrityScary Mommy
Claudia Conway shared audio clips of Kellyanne threatening her life and screaming at her Claudia Conway, daughter of former right-hand-woman of Trump, Kellyanne Conway, has shared another series of TikTok videos that don’t paint her mom in the best light. In the videos, a voice that sounds exactly like Kellyanne’s can be heard shrieking abusive