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A Break for Rod Blagojevich Could Be Coming

President Trump says commutation is possible
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2019 7:32 AM CDT
In this March 14, 2012, file photo, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, with his wife Patti, speaks to the media in Chicago.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

(Newser) – Rod Blagojevich's daughter will be especially happy to hear this: President Trump said Wednesday he is "very strongly" considering commuting the 14-year sentence for corruption currently being served by Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor. "I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly … He's been in jail for seven years over a phone call where nothing happens," Trump said of the former Celebrity Apprentice contestant, per Politico. The president was referring to a wiretapped phone call in which Blagojevich—a Democrat accused of trying to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat in 2008—said, "I've got this thing, and it's f---ing golden." "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 the phone," Trump said.

Blagojevich became governor in 2003 but was impeached and removed from office in 2009. He appeared on Celebrity Apprentice in 2010 before his conviction on nearly 20 federal charges. His family has been pushing for his release ever since. Indeed, Blagojevich's eldest daughter Amy previously said Obama was "selfish and spineless" for not offering a pardon or commutation. Rev. Jesse Jackson and former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. joined the fray last month with a letter to Trump. "We stand with [Blagojevich’s] family as they seek a full pardon for a father and husband that has served most of a sentence that was far longer than the offense deserved," it read, per the Wall Street Journal. Trump also suggested he was considering a commutation for Blagojevich in May 2018. (The former governor now cleans hallways.)

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