Blagojevich Family Awaits Word as President Trump Mulls Former Governor's Fate - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Blagojevich Family Awaits Word as President Trump Mulls Former Governor's Fate

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Blagojevich Family Plays Waiting Game

    President Donald Trump is still mulling options with former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's sentence, leaving his family to play the waiting game. NBC 5's Katie Kim has more. 

    (Published Friday, June 8, 2018)

    President Donald Trump revealed Friday that he is looking over thousands of names of people to potentially pardon or to commute sentences for, but there’s only one name that the family of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich cares about.

    It’s been one week since the president floated the idea of commuting Blagojevich’s sentence. Since then, the president has offered clemency to an Alabama great grandmother, whose case was brought to his attention by reality star Kim Kardashian, and on Friday he mentioned possibly issuing a posthumous pardon to boxing great Muhammad Ali.

    “We are looking at literally thousands of names of people that have come to our attention, that have been treated unfairly,” the president said.

    The disgraced former governor fits that category, according to previous statements made by President Trump.

    Last week, Trump told reporters that Blagojevich’s 14-year sentence was “unfair,” and that “he shouldn’t have been put in jail.”

    Since then, Blagojevich’s supporters have been putting on a full court press to try to get the president to issue a commutation or a pardon. Numerous politicians, including Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, have said that the sentence was too harsh, and Blagojevich’s wife has appeared on Fox News appealing to the president to free her husband.

    The former governor is currently six years into a 14-year sentence for an array of corruption convictions.

    Not everyone agrees that President Trump should give Blagojevich a commutation, including the current governor of Illinois.

    “It clearly would be a mistake to commute the sentence,” Governor Bruce Rauner said. “Blagojevich did destructive things to the people of Illinois, and he deserves to go to prison for the sentence that he got.”

    It’s unclear when a decision on Blagojevich’s status could come, but the president’s pardoning office will continue to look at the merits of his case. 

    Get the latest from NBC Chicago anywhere, anytime

    • Download the NBC Chicago App

      Download the App

      Available for iOS and Android