President Trump Says White House Staff is Reviewing Commutation of Rod Blagojevich's Prison Sentence - NBC Chicago
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President Trump Says White House Staff is Reviewing Commutation of Rod Blagojevich's Prison Sentence

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Could Blagojevich's Sentence be Commuted?

    The president is hinting that he could commute the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, but why? NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern tackles that question. 

    (Published Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019)

    President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Thursday night that White House staff are “continuing to review” the possibility of commuting the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

    In a social media post, the president called the former governor’s 14 year sentence a “very severe one,” and confirmed that his staff is looking into commuting it.

    “Rod Blagojevich, the former Governor of Illinois, was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He has served 7 years. Many people have asked that I study the possibility of commuting his sentence in that it was a very severe one. White House staff is continuing the review of this matter,” the president tweeted.

    The news comes one day after the president told reporters on-board Air Force One that he was “seriously considering” commuting Blagojevich’s sentence.

    “I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly,” the president said. “I am seriously thinking about – not pardoning – but I am seriously thinking of a curtailment of Blagojevich.”

    The president also praised Patti Blagojevich, who has been actively trying to get the administration to issue a pardon or commutation for her husband since the president took office in 2017.

    The former Illinois governor has served seven years of a 14-year prison sentence handed down after he was convicted of trying to sell the Senate seat of then president-elect Barack Obama. Several appeals, including one of the Supreme Court, have been denied, but the president has hinted that he would consider commuting Blagojevich's sentence for over a year. 

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