Rod Blagojevich leaves prison after sentence is commuted by Trump

News 19 February, 2020

After spending nearly eight years in federal prison after his conviction on corruption charges, Rod Blagojevich strolled out of prison a free man Tuesday night.

The former Illinois governor had his 14-year prison sentence commuted by President Donald Trump Tuesday and left a federal prison in Colorado hours later, CBS Chicago reported.

Blagojevich, 63, was convicted of 17 charges of public corruption in 2011 for doling out political favors in exchange for financial benefits, including an attempt to sell former President Barack Obama’s US Senate seat for campaign cash. He was expected to be let out early, in 2024, for good behavior.

Trump had previously hosted — and fired — Blagojevich, a Democrat, on an episode of “Celebrity Apprentice” back in 2010.

“I don’t know him very well. I’ve met him a couple of times. He was on, for a short while, on ‘The Apprentice’ years ago,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday morning. “Seems like a very nice person.”

The president added that Blagojevich’s sentence is “ridiculous” considering the crimes he committed.

“So he’ll be able to go back home with his family after serving eight years in jail,” Trump told reporters. “That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many others.”