President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of former Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
Several Trump administration aides had claimed to ABC that the president is planning to grant the former governor clemency. Trump had previously hinted he was looking into commuting the 14-year sentence, which was originally handed down after Blagojevich was convicted of trying to sell the Senate seat of then-president elect Barack Obama in 2008, according to NBC Chicago.
“Yes, we commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich. he served eight years in jail, a long time. He seems like a very nice person, don’t know him,” Trump told reporters Tuesday.
NEW – Potus has already signed the commutation papers for Blago, who has not yet been released.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 18, 2020
Unlike a full pardon, a clemency grant does not expunge Blagojevich’s conviction from the record. Instead, it will allow him to leave prison immediately rather than serve the rest of his sentence, of which he has already served seven years. (RELATED: Study Says Illinois Is The State That Hates Football Most)
Rod Blagojevich, the former Governor of Illinois, was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He has served 7 years. Many people have asked that I study the possibility of commuting his sentence in that it was a very severe one. White House staff is continuing the review of this matter.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2019
The news came hours after Trump granted a full pardon to former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo.
Blagojevich is one of four of the last 11 Illinois governors to be tried, convicted, and sentenced to jail.