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Blagojevich Returns Home a Free Man

He's 'profoundly grateful to President Trump'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 19, 2020 4:09 AM CST
Updated Feb 19, 2020 6:54 AM CST
Blagojevich Returns Home a Free Man
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tries to get into his house as he arrives home in Chicago on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, after his release from Colorado prison late Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – Rod Blagojevich walked out of prison Tuesday after President Trump cut short the 14-year prison sentence handed to the former Illinois governor for political corruption. The president said the punishment imposed on the Chicago Democrat and one-time contestant on Trump's reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice was excessive. "That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence in my opinion and in the opinion of many others," Trump said. Blagojevich landed at Chicago’s O’Hare airport early Wednesday a free man, promising judicial and criminal justice reform while maintaining his innocence. "Ï didn’t do the things they said I did and they lied on me," Blagojevich told WGN-TV.

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Promising he will have more to say in a Wednesday news conference, Blagojevich told WGN-TV he appreciated the president's action. "I’m profoundly grateful to President Trump and it’s a profound and everlasting gratitude,” the 63-year-old said. "He didn’t have to do this, he's a Republican president and I was a Democratic governor. I'll have a lot more to say tomorrow." As he exited the airport doors he was rushed by media and supporters, signing a few autographs before getting into a white SUV and speeding out of the airport toward his Ravenswood home. There he was rushed through a crowd of journalists and supporters to his front door. He said he was happy to be home with his wife and children before disappearing into the house.

(Read more Rod Blagojevich stories.)

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