Trump commutes Rod Blagojevich, pardons ex-NYPD leader Bernard Kerik

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

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump commuted the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday, one of several high-profile grants of clemency he issued as he ramped up his criticism of federal prosecutions.

Trump announced pardons for former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, rogue financier Michael Milken and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who pleaded guilty in a gambling fraud case in the late 1990s. The president said he has not decided what to do with convicted allies Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn.

Blagojevich, a Democrat, entered federal prison in 2012 to serve 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 served eight years in jail – a long time,” Trump said at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. “Many people disagree with the sentence.” 

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