/Inauguration Day 2021 news: Donald Trump pardons Steve Bannon as Joe Biden prepares to be sworn in as US president – live updates

Inauguration Day 2021 news: Donald Trump pardons Steve Bannon as Joe Biden prepares to be sworn in as US president – live updates

Donald Trump has granted clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon as part of a wave of pardons and commutations he will issue during his final hours in office. 

The US president did not pardon himself, members of his family or lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was at the forefront of unsuccessful efforts to get the results of the 2020 presidential election overturned.

Mr Trump leaves office today, when Joe Biden is sworn in as the nation’s next president. He will sweep away some of Mr Trump’s most controversial policies just hours after he is sworn in as America’s 46th president

The President also pardoned rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black who were prosecuted on federal weapons offences, as well as former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges, a senior administration official told Reuters.

Mr 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 US-Mexico border. He has pleaded not guilty.

Good morning everyone. As America, and indeed the world, prepares to welcome in a new President, official timings have been released for today’s event.

President-elect Joe Biden, and vice-president elect Kamala Harris, begin their day by attending a church service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle with their spouses and key Congressional leaders. The service begins at 8.45am (1:45pm GMT). Meanwhile, Donald Trump will hold a farewell ceremony for himself at 8am (1pm GMT) before flying to Florida.

Biden and Harris will travel to the Capitol at 10.30am (3.30pm GMT) before the swearing-in ceremony begins at 11.15am (4:45pm GMT). Biden will be sworn in at noon (5pm GMT) and will deliver his inaugural address after that.

From there, it’s off to a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 2.25pm (7.45pm GMT) before the pair are escorted to the White House where Biden will start immediately signing Executive Orders, beginning the process of undoing Trump’s four years.

Finally, at 8.48pm (1.48am GMT) Biden and Harris will attend the ‘Celebrating America’ inaugural programme where both will speak.

Sen. Richard Burr has said the Justice Department has told him it will not prosecute him over stock sales made during the coronavirus pandemic, ending an insider trading investigation that led him to at least temporarily step aside from a powerful committee chairmanship last year.

His lawyer, Alice Fisher, described the investigation as a “thorough review” and said Burr, who has said he will not seek reelection after his term ends in 2023, would remain focused on “the safety and security of North Carolinians and the United States as a whole.”