(WTVO) — President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday that he commuted the 14-year prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, calling it “ridiculous.”
Blagojevich was convicted of political corruption just months after he appeared on Trump’s reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Blagojevich is expected to walk out of prison later Tuesday.
A primary charge against the former governor was that he tried to sell former President Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat.
Local leaders reacted to the news:
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said in a tweet, ” So this is draining the swamp. @realDonaldTrump keep him behind bars where he belongs.”
Sen. Dave Syverson (R) said, “He has served a lot longer than anyone else accused of similar type issues. From a fairness standpoint, and again I’m not a Blagojevich fan, I sat on the trial and voted to find him guilty. I would agree its gone much longer than it should’ve been and it was probably political to have it go that long.”
“He’s (President Trump) not taking the advice of any of the politicians from Illinois who worked with Blagojevich,” said former Illinois State Rep. Dave Winters (R-Shirland). “It’s pretty unanimous his behavior was egregious and inappropriate.”
The Illinois GOP Chairman Tim Schneider also released a statement on Tuesday:
“In a state where corrupt, machine-style politics is still all too common, it’s important that those found guilty serve their prison sentence in its entirety. Rod Blagojevich is certainly no exception. The former Governor’s proven record of corruption is a stain upon Illinois and its citizens. We must stand up and send the message that corruption will not be tolerated in Illinois,” Schneider said.
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