(WXYZ) — President Donald Trump is expected to commute the sentence for former Illionis Gov. Rod Blagojevich, according to ABC News.
According to ABC News, multiple senior level sources told them the president was planning to commute his sentence.
The New York Times followed up with a report saying that Trump has commuted Blagojevich's 14-year sentence. Trump made the announcement during a briefing at Joint Base Andrews.
JUST IN: Pres. Trump says he has commuted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's sentence, calling it a "tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence," and claiming "it was a prosecution by the same people, Comey Fitzpatrick, the same group." https://t.co/9oQG09bxZA pic.twitter.com/j81ugJx2SI— ABC News (@ABC) February 18, 2020
Because he commuted the sentence, it doesn't wipe out Blagojevich's conviction.
In 2018, Trump told reporters he was considering pardoning Blagojevich and Martha Stewart. Both were stars with Trump on NBC's "The Apprentice."
Blagojevich was convicted on charges that he tried to exchange an appointment for Former President Barack Obama's Senate seat in exchange for campaign money. He has been in federal prison since 2012 and is expected to be released in 2024, according to ABC News.
Trump asked for a show of hands at a fundraiser at Chicago’s Trump International Hotel in October of those who supported clemency for the 62-year-old Democrat. Most of the 200 to 300 attendees raised their hands, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing several people at the event.
On the same day, Trump told Chicago’s WLS-TV that — despite bringing up the possibility of freeing Blagojevich in August and then appearing to back away from the idea — Blagojevich shouldn’t abandon hope of an early release.
“No, he should not at all give up hope, at all,” Trump said. “We are looking at it.”
The White House declined comment in October.
Blagojevich’s wife, Patti, has lobbied the Republican president hard on her husband’s behalf. But despite Trump’s impromptu survey this week, there has never been a groundswell of support in Illinois for the ex-governor’s early release.
On Tuesday, Trump also issued a pardon to former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., clearing him of a 1998 fraud conviction.