Trump Mulls Commuting Ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s Prison Sentence

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves to the crowd in front of his home as he leaves for prison on March 15, 2012, in Chicago. On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Blagojevich's lawyers repeated assertions that federal prosecutors are clearly wrong when it comes to the ex-governor's alleged crimes. (William DeShazer/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service

President Trump is considering cutting former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s prison sentence short, citing how “fantastic” the imprisoned politician’s wife is and the fact that he was on Trump’s former show “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Blagojevich was impeached and imprisoned for attempting to use his office for personal and financial gain, including by attempting to sell the former Senate seat held by then-President-elect Barack Obama.

“His wife I think is fantastic and I’m thinking about commuting his sentence very strongly. I think it’s enough, seven years,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One during his travels on Wednesday. “A man who is a Democrat, not a Republican—who I don’t know very well, but he was on ‘The Apprentice’ … I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly.”

“And a lot of people thought it was unfair, like a lot of other things — and it was the same gang, the Comey gang and all these sleazebags that did it. … And I’m thinking about commuting his sentence,” Trump reportedly told reporters.

Blagojevich was convicted in 2010 and 2011 on 18 counts related to his efforts to sell Obama’s seat. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison. According to the New York Times’ Maggie Habberman, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has been pushing Trump to pardon Blagojevich in recent months in order to throw a bone at Democrats. Aides got President Trump to agree to a commutation.

Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Editor for Prime & Special Projects:
Investigations Desk:
Front Page Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: