President Donald Trump is planning to grant clemency to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who has been serving a 14-year sentence in federal prison since 2012. According to NBC News, Trump is also planning to pardon former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who served time in federal prison for tax fraud and lying to the government.
Blagojevich, a Democrat who was the governor of Illinois from 2003-2009, was convicted of trying to trade the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama in exchange for campaign money and political favors. He began serving his prison term in the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, Colorado, on March 15, 2012 and is expected to be released in 2024.
In August, President Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he was considering a pardon for Blagojevich.
"I'm thinking about commuting his sentence very strongly," Trump said. "I think it's enough — seven years," he added, referring the amount of time the ex-governor has already served. He's been in jail for seven years, over a phone call where nothing happens ... Over a phone call where, you know, he shouldn't have said what he said, but it was braggadocio, you would say. I would think that there have been many politicians, I'm not one of them, by the way, that have said a lot worse over telephones."
Blagojevich appeared on season 9 of Trump's reality show, The Celebrity Apprentice in 2010. He did not last very long as was fired by Trump in the fourth episode.
The report comes after Trump signed an executive order granting a full pardon to former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., who pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony after he paid former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards $400,000 to help secure a casino license. He was fined $1 million and received just two years of probation in exchange for testifying against Edwards.
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