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Trump commutes jail sentence of former IL Gov Rod Blagojevich

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed from office, arrives at O"Hare International Airport on March 15, 2012, before he was due to begin serving a 14-year sentence on federal corruption charges.
February 18, 2020

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.

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.