President Donald Trump said on Wednesday night, Aug. 7, while flying en route to Joint Base Andrews that the Trump administration is going to do something “very impactful.”
The president said he is “very strongly” thinking about commuting the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2019
President Trump spoke to reporters on board Air Force One after visiting Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. He told reporters that he thinks that the former Illinois governor “was treated very, very unfairly, just as others were.”
Blagojevich was convicted of federal corruption charges for using his power as a governor to obtain campaign money and other political favors, and which also included endeavors to sell former President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat.
Blagojevich is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence for multiple federal corruption convictions. He went to federal prison in 2012.
“I think it’s enough: seven years,” said President Trump and added, “Not a friend of mine. He’s a Democrat, not a Republican. It’s Illinois.”
Blagojevich had filed paperwork requesting a commutation. A federal appeals court in 2015 removed five of the 18 charges but a federal judge re-sentenced the former Illinois governor to 14 years in prison, which is repeating the original sentence.
President Trump told reporters that he thinks Blagojevich, “a Democrat, had been treated “unbelievably unfairly.”
“I am thinking very seriously about commuting his sentence so that he can go home to his family after seven years,” said President Trump who continued, “You have drug dealers that get not even 30 days, and they’ve killed 25 people.”
“They put him in jail for 18 years, and he has many years left. And I think it’s very unfair,” President Trump, who added that he “has been thinking about that for a long time” and that Blagojevich “I think he’s got another 10 years to serve.”
President Trump said that he is taking into consideration of Blagojevich’s wife and children.
President Trump told reporters that Blagojevich had “been in jail for seven years, over a phone call where nothing happens.”
“He shouldn’t have said what he said, but it was braggadocio,” said the president.
President Trump stated that over a year ago he had thought about commuting Blagojevich.
The likely commutation of Blagojevich will be a bipartisan gesture, said President Trump. “A man who is a Democrat, not a Republican—who I don’t know very well, but he was on “The Apprentice” for a couple of weeks,” stated the president.