Rod Blagojevich was serving a 14-year sentence for multiple federal corruption convictions.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday commuted the 14-year jail sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of political corruption a few months after appearing on Trump’s reality show “Celebrity Apprentice.
According to AP, Blagojevich is scheduled to be released from prison Tuesday
According to a person close to him who spoke on condition of anonymity because he had not seen signed documents.
Blagojevich was convicted of crimes such as trying to sell a nomination to Barack Obama’s old Senate seat and attempting to extort money from a children’s hospital.
The 63-year-old Democrat exhausted his last appeal in 2018 and seemed destined to remain behind bars until his scheduled release date of 2024.
His wife, Patti, visited various media outlets in 2018 to encourage Trump to get involved, and at the time she praised the president and compared her husband’s investigation to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, an investigation that Trump has long called a “witch-hunt.
“Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, was sentenced to 14 years in prison”.
He has served 7 years,” Trump tweeted in August 2019. “Many people have asked him to consider commuting his sentence as it was a very severe one. The White House staff continues to review this issue.
Blagojevich’s conviction was remarkable, even in a state where four of the last 10 governors have been jailed for corruption.
As governor, Blagojevich was notorious for his vanity in keeping his thick hair dark.
In prison, he is not allowed to dye his hair, so he is now completely gray.
Recounting the Rob Blagojevich case
Among the accusations against him were corruption, bribery and the intention to obtain personal benefits to fill the position of senator left vacant by now ex-president Barack Obama.
In January 2009, the State Senate removed Blagojevich from the governor’s post, but he said he would not give up.
“The fight continues, just because I’m not governor doesn’t mean I won’t continue to fight for you and the causes I’ve fought for all my life,” Blagojevich said shortly after the scandal broke.
But the former governor’s legal fight was just beginning.
- In April 2009, Blagojevich and five others involved were formally charged by the prosecution, and some of the evidence was based on recordings where the former governor is heard talking about various issues, including his apparent desire to place the highest bidder in the Senate seat.
- It was not until 3 June 2010 that the first trial began against the former official, who by then had become more than a defendant, a personality known for his comments and participation in radio and television programmes.
- After days of deliberations, on August 17, 2010, the jury found him guilty of lying to the FBI and was unable to reach a decision on the other 23 counts. At that time Rod Blagojevich was feeling victorious and confident.
- The prosecution did not stop, and on April 20, 2011 the second trial against the former governor began, this time Blagojevich let his voice be heard on the stand and testified. It was on June 27 when the jury reached a decision in this case, the verdict was: guilty of 17 charges out of 20, of which 11 are related to the attempt to sell the Senate seat left by President Barack Obama.