SEVERE WX : Freeze Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Trump commutes sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich

Article Image

CNN's Erin Burnett asks Rod Blagojevich's attorney, Leonard Goodman, why he thinks President Trump is considering pardoning the former Illinois governor now.

Posted: Feb 18, 2020 2:00 PM
Updated: Feb 18, 2020 2:00 PM

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he's commuted the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews that Blagojevich "served eight years in jail. It's a long time to go."

Trump publicly hinted he would use his clemency powers for Blagojevich, a Democrat, in August. But he faced sharp blowback from some conservative members of Congress, including from Illinois, as well as from some White House advisers who said it wouldn't play well.

Internally, the effort to pardon or commute Blagojevich's sentence was championed by Jared Kushner, who has led the administration's criminal justice reform efforts.

Blagojevich appeared on Trump's boardroom reality show NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2010 but was fired by the future president before the final round.

Several Republican lawmakers aired their concerns in phone calls to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House counsel Pat Cipollone. Two Republicans, Reps. Darin LaHood and Mike Bost, directly appealed to Trump not to use his clemency powers for Blagojevich.

By August, the White House had already been working for several months on vetting Blagojevich's case. The President first raised it in 2018.

Trump has suggested in his public comments about the case that he believes Blagojevich was simply doing what all politicians do.

"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 telephone," he said last year.

Article Comments

West Lafayette
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 37°
Kokomo
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 36°
Rensselaer
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 39°
Fowler
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 39°
Williamsport
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 36°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
45° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 36°
Frankfort
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 38°
Delphi
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 38°
Monticello
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 38°
Logansport
Broken Clouds
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 37°
Colder & very windy with some spotty rain & rain/snow.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events