FILE PHOTO: Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich makes an announcement to reporters outdoors his Chicago dwelling in the future earlier than reporting to federal jail in Colorado to serve a 14-year sentence for corruption, March 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes/File Picture
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump stated on Wednesday he was significantly contemplating commuting the jail sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Blagojevich was convicted on expenses together with wire fraud, extortion and soliciting bribes whereas governor. He served from January 2003 to January 2009, when the Illinois Senate eliminated him from workplace. Blagojevich started serving a 14-year jail sentence in 2012.
“I believed he was handled unbelievably unfairly,” Trump instructed reporters on Air Pressure One. “I’m interested by commuting his sentence.”
The U.S. Supreme Court docket final 12 months turned away Blagojevich’s newest bid to shorten his jail sentence.
Prosecutors within the case stated Blagojevich, a Democrat and former contestant on Trump’s “Movie star Apprentice” actuality TV present, solicited marketing campaign contributions in change for elevating pediatric healthcare reimbursement charges and laws supporting his state’s horse racing trade. Blagojevich additionally tried to promote or commerce the Senate seat that Barack Obama vacated after successful the 2008 U.S. presidential election, prosecutors stated.
“I believe it’s sufficient, seven years,” Trump stated, including that Blagojevich was not a buddy and never a member of the identical political social gathering. “Not a buddy of mine. He’s a Democrat, not a Republican. It’s Illinois. I believe he was handled very very unfairly, simply as others have been.”
The White Home has instructed earlier than that such a commutation was potential. An official stated final 12 months that the president was nonetheless contemplating the difficulty.
Reporting by Jeff Mason and Lawrence Hurley; Enhancing by Shri Navaratnam