Trump pardons A. Levandowski on charges of stealing secret documents from Google autonomous car




As Joe Biden's inauguration prepares to take place, the outgoing head of the United States government, Donald Trump, has performed a series of presidential pardons. Among the lucky ones, we find a former employee of Google: Anthony Levandowski.

Coming out on a high note after a tough election period? Even Donald Trump, who has long refused his opponent's victory, lends himself to the game. At the end of his mandate, presidential pardon can indeed be granted to anyone who is under criminal sentence. On the Democrats' side, there were concerns that Trump was a little too generous.



18 months in prison erased

Anthony Levandowski is one of the co-founders of Waymo and a pioneer in autonomous vehicles. After leaving the company in 2016, he was accused of taking some 14,000 confidential documents. The latter described in particular the design of LiDAR sensors, allowing vehicles to better understand their environment.

In the meantime, the Franco-American engineer had founded his own (fictitious) company called Otoo, which was (officially) bought by Uber. The VTC specialist then aimed to develop his own autonomous car system.

Anthony Levandowski was taken to court in August 2019 by Google, which then bought Waymo. The following year, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, a sentence postponed because of the pandemic.

The White House explains in a statement, spotted by The Verge, that the acquittal of Anthony Levandowski was notably supported by the billionaire investor Peter Thiel and the founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey.


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No graces for Snowden and Assange

To really mark the occasion, Donald Trump could undoubtedly have been able to pardon former NSA analyst Edward Snowden. The latter is, let us recall it if necessary again, became famous for his many revelations concerning the massive surveillance practices put in place by American government agencies. He was subsequently charged with treason and threat to the government. Edward Snowden is now in exile in Russia and faces at least 30 years in prison in the United States.

Trump also did not pardon Julian Assange, the founder of the Wikileaks platform, on which he published some 250,000 American diplomatic cables as well as 500,000 classified documents. The Collateral Murder video, depicting a US military blunder, is still available on YouTube. Currently in the United Kingdom, Julien Assange faces 175 years in prison in the United States.

Today, Donald Trump forgave 71 other individuals his presidential pardon and reduced the prison sentence by 70 more. Among them, rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, indicted for possession of firearms as well as Steve Bannon, a conservative activist close to the far right, indicted for embezzlement.



Source : The Verge


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