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Tipsheet

It Sounds Like Trump Is Getting Close to Commuting Blagojevich's Sentence

AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

Aboard Air Force One on Wednesday, President Trump told the traveling press that he thinks former Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been treated "unfairly" by the justice system and has served more than his fair share of time behind bars. He is expected to serve seven more, but Trump suggested he's ready to commute the governor's sentence.

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While in office, Blagojevich was accused of soliciting personal favors and trying to sell an appointment to the Senate seat vacated Barack Obama when he became president. The most compelling piece of evidence was a phone call he had in which he said, "I've got this thing, and it's f**king golden. I'm just not giving it up for f**king nothing." He was removed from office in 2009.

Trump insists that's hardly enough for a conviction, and he's "strongly considering" commuting the sentence.

“I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly; he was given close to 18 years in prison,” Trump said. “And a lot of people thought it was unfair, like a lot of other things — and it was the same gang, the Comey gang and all these sleaze bags that did it. And his name is Rod Blagojevich. And I’m thinking about commuting his sentence."

His critics are warning of the consequences, but they can't say Trump hasn't been consistent on this issue.

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The president knows Blagojevich personally - or at least he did at one point. The former governor appeared as a contestant on the "Celebrity Apprentice" back in 2010.

Trump has pardoned or commuted the sentences of several people since assuming the presidency, including Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt, Irve Lewis "Scooter" Libby, convicted of lying to the FBI, and 63-year-old Alice Johnson, a great grandmother who was sentenced to life in prison over a first time drug offense. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is reportedly pushing for a pardon for Blagojevich too, but he may need to settle for a commutation.

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