Trump commutes ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s prison sentence

Hope Hicks to return to President Trump's White House as adviser


WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will commute the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich after long criticizing federal authorities involved in the corruption case for persuing what he’s described as a “tough” sentence.   

Blagojevich, a Democrat, entered federal prison in 2012 and is serving a 14-year sentence after being convicted on federal charges of using his powers as governor to extract campaign money and other political favors in exchange for naming a successor to fill the Illinois Senate seat left open when Barack Obama became president.  

“He seems like a very nice person,” Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews on Tuesday.  

Trump said in August he was considering a commutation for Blagojevich, calling his prison term excessive. Trump previously said he felt Blagojevich, who appeared as a guest on his television program “The Apprentice,” was treated “very, very unfairly.”

“Many people have asked that I study the possibility of commuting his sentence in that it was a very severe one,” Trump posted on Twitter last year. “White House staff is continuing the review of this matter.”

In this March 14, 2012, file photo, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, with his wife Patti at his side, speaks to the media in Chicago before reporting to federal prison in Denver.

There are connections between the Blagojevich case and the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Robert Mueller, who as special counsel oversaw the Russia probe, was the head of the FBI during the Blagojevich investigation. Trump has also blamed associates of former FBI Director James Comey for the Blagojevich sentence, though Comey did not take over at the FBI until years later. 


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