Certainly one of President Trump’s closing acts in workplace is to pardon a former Google engineer who was convicted of stealing commerce secrets and techniques. Anthony Levandowski labored for Google’s self-driving automobile division, now referred to as Waymo, earlier than leaving to discovered Otto, a self-driving truck firm that was acquired by Uber. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail in August, with decide William Alsup describing the incident because the “biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen.”

“My family and I are grateful for the opportunity to move forward, and thankful to the President and others who supported and advocated on my behalf,” Levandowski mentioned in a tweet confirming the pardon.

Levandowski was discovered to have downloaded hundreds of recordsdata to his laptop computer earlier than he left Google and entered into sale discussions. Uber in the end fired him after Google sued, and Levandowski stays in a authorized battle with the ride-hailing firm, claiming it must be chargeable for the $179 million he was ordered to pay Google. In a separate go well with, Levandowski has argued Uber owes him billions of {dollars} in misplaced worth from the Otto deal.

Levandowski by no means started his sentence, as Alsup allowed it to be delayed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In accordance with a statement from the White Home, Levandowski’s pardon was supported by figures from the tech trade together with controversial billionaire investor Peter Thiel, fellow Founders Fund accomplice Trae Stephens, Thiel Capital COO Blake Masters, Hollywood agent and Palantir advisor Michael Ovitz, and Oculus and Anduril founder Palmer Luckey.

Alongside Levandowski, Trump has pardoned 72 different people and commuted the jail sentences of 70 extra. The checklist contains rappers Lil Wayne, who pled responsible to a firearms possession cost final yr, and Kodak Black, who’s presently in jail on weapons expenses. Trump additionally granted a pardon to Steve Bannon, the previous Breitbart Information boss who served as chief strategist to Trump till his acrimonious departure in 2017.

Replace, Jan 20th, 3.45AM: Added Levandowski’s affirmation.

Correction: a earlier model of this story misidentified an organization co-founded by Palmer Luckey. It’s Anduril, not Palantir. We remorse the error.

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