President Donald Trump said Wednesday he was considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, saying seven years was enough time in prison.
“I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One. “He’s been in jail for a seven years over a phone call where nothing happens.”
Blagojevich, a Democrat, was impeached then removed from office in 2009 for corruption and was later indicted on multiple corruption charges. He was accused of trying to solicit personal favors and sell the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Barack Obama winning the presidency.
During the case, a tapped phone conversation revealed Blagojevich saying: “I’ve got this thing, and it’s fucking golden. I’m just not giving it up for fucking nothing.”
Trump dismissed the governor’s comments from his phone call as “braggadocio” and insufficient for a conviction.
“I would think that there have been many politicians — I’m not one of them by the way — that have said a lot worse over the phone,” Trump said.
Blagojevich — who was once a contestant on Trump’s TV show “The Celebrity Apprentice” — was sentenced to 14 years in prison, though his family has unsuccessfully tried to appeal the decision multiple times. The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal last year. President Barack Obama also did not commute Blagojevich’s sentence, to the frustration of the former governor’s family.
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