Washington — President Trump said he has commuted the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and issued a pardon for former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.
Blagojevich was convicted of attempting to sell former President Barack Obama’s Senate seat and began serving a 14-year federal prison sentence in 2012. Kerik, who was oversaw the NYPD’s response to the 9/11 attacks, pleaded guilty to federal charges of tax fraud and lying to investigators in 2009 and was sentenced to four years in prison.
“We have commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich,” the president said before boarding Air Force One for a trip out West. “He served eight years in jail, a long time … Many people disagreed with the sentence. He’s a Democrat, not a Republican.”
Blagojevich’s commutation was first reported by ABC News and comes on the heels of the president’s pardon of convicted billionaire NFL owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. Mr. Trump said he hasn’t “given it any thought” when asked if he will pardon Roger Stone, who faces sentencing this week.
Blagojevich starred in Mr. Trump’s “Apprentice” reality television show. The president, who ran on a campaign of law-and-order, has hinted about a possible pardon for him in the past. The former governor was convicted in 2011.
“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 in April 2019.