President Donald Trump has commuted the ongoing prison sentence of former Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday.
Blagojevich was convicted in a scheme of attempting to trade an appointment to former President Barrack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat in exchange for donations to his reelection campaign. Trump announced his decision to reporters on Tuesday, CNN reported.
Blagojevich was sentenced in 2012 to a term of 14 years in prison and he has been serving his sentence as a resident of the Federal Correctional Institution, in Englewood, Colorado.
The imprisoned former governor has sought to have his sentence reduced and he has been granted a two year credit for good behavior, though his expected release date is still set for some time in 2024.
Blagojevich reportedly fronted a prison band, “The Jailhouse Rockers,” which his defense noted in a previous appeal for his early release.
Trump previously indicated an interest in Blagojevich’s case, including a commuted sentence, in an August 2019 tweet.
Rod Blagojevich, the former Governor of Illinois, was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He has served 7 years. Many people have asked that I study the possibility of commuting his sentence in that it was a very severe one. White House staff is continuing the review of this matter.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2019
Blagojevich did appear on the 2009 season of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” which was hosted at the time by Trump.
Trump announced another high profile presidential pardon earlier on Tuesday for former NFL 49ers football team owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., ABC News reported earlier in the day. DeBartolo was convicted in 1998 on gambling fraud charges.
Trump was also reportedly considering a pardon for NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was convicted and sentenced on tax fraud charges in 2010, Fox News reported. Kerik was sentenced to four years in federal prison and has already completed his sentence.