Trump commutes sentence of ex-Gov. Blagojevich, pardons Kerik

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President Trump has commuted the sentence of former Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted in a high-profile corruption case for attempting to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat when he was elected president.

Trump confirmed to reporters Tuesday that he’s granted clemency for the ex-governor, calling his sentence “ridiculous.”

“He’ll be able to go back home with his family after serving eight years in jail,” Trump said.

Trump also confirmed that he has pardoned former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was sentenced on tax fraud charges in 2010. It comes on the same day the White House announced Trump was granting a full pardon to former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who was convicted of failing to report a bribe to the former governor of Louisiana when he pleaded guilty in 1998.

Blagojevich was convicted in 2010 on corruption charges and sentenced to 14 years in federal prison, a sentence he has been serving at a federal prison in Littleton, Colo. Trump was considering a commutation for Blagojevich last year, but plans were put on hold amid worries over pushback.

Trump tweeted about Blagojevich in August, noting that the White House’s staff was looking into whether or not a commutation for Blagojevich was possible.

“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 said.

Blagojevich was also impeached as the governor of Illinois over his conduct.

Kerik was previously President George W. Bush’s nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security but was later sentenced to four years in federal prison, a sentence he has since completed.

Fox News Louis Casiano and Michael Tobin, as well as The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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