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In final act as president, Obama commutes 330 drug sentences

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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 16: U.S. President Barack Obama answers questions during a news conference in the Brady Press Breifing Room at the White House December 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. In what could be the last press conference of his presidency, afterwards Obama will be leaving for his annual family vacation in Hawaii. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON  — President Barack Obama granted 330 commutations, the White House announced Thursday, January 19th — the most commutations given in a single day by a US president.

The announcement comes within 24 hours of the transfer of power from President Obama to President-elect Donald Trump. Most of those whose sentences were commuted came from nonviolent drug offenses.

Not included in the list: Former American prisoner of war Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has asked President Obama for a pardon, Justice Department officials told CNN in December.

Bergdahl faces charges for leaving his post in Afghanistan in 2009. His court-martial is scheduled for February 6.

President-elect Trump has been a staunch critic of Bergdahl and the prisoner swap made under President Obama.

In 2014, Bergdahl was released after nearly five years in captivity by the Taliban in exchange five detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

During the campaign, President-elect Trump frequently called Bergdahl a “traitor” and suggested that he should face harsher punishment.

Earlier this week, President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to WikiLeaks.


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