The final task in President Trump’s office is to pardon a former Google engineer who was convicted of stealing trade secrets. Anthony Lewandowski worked for Google’s self-driving car division, now called Waymo, before leaving Otto, a self-driving truck company acquired by Uber. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison in August, with Judge William Alsup describing the incident as “the biggest trade secret crime ever”.
Lewandowski found that before downloading from Google he downloaded thousands of files to his laptop and got into sales discussions. Uber eventually fired him after being sued by Google, and Lewandowski remained in a legal battle with the Ride-Healing company, claiming that he should be liable for the $ 179 million Google was ordered to pay . In a separate suit, Lewandowski has argued that Uber owed him billions of dollars in lost value from the Ober deal.
Lewandowski never began his sentence, as Alsup allowed him to be indefinitely delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a White House statement, Lewandowski’s pardon was supported by the tech industry, including controversial billionaire investor Peter Thiel, fellow founding fund partner Trai Stephens, Palantir investor and advisor Michael Ovitz, and Oculus and Enduril founder Palmer Lukey.
Along with Lewandowski, Trump pardoned 72 other individuals and sentenced 70 more to prison. The list also includes rapper Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty last year to a firearms possession charge, and Kodak Black, who is currently in jail on a weapons charge. Trump also granted pardon to former Breitbart News boss, Steve Bannon, who served as Trump’s chief strategist until his fiery farewell in 2017.