Multiple media outlets are reporting that President Trump has signed the necessary paperwork to commute the prison sentence of disgraced former Illinois governor and currently inmate #40892-424 at Englewood Federal Correctional Instituted. In 2012, Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison and, under federal law, he would be required to 12 years and 10 months before he would be eligible for parole.
— John Santucci (@Santucci) February 18, 2020
NEW – Potus has already signed the commutation papers for Blago, who has not yet been released.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 18, 2020
#WATCH: Pres. Trump says he's commuting the 14-year prison sentence of fmr Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of political corruption for trying to sell Pres. Obama’s old Senate seat:
"Yes, we have commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich." pic.twitter.com/aKV512WvCC
— Jennifer Franco (@jennfranconews) February 18, 2020
Along with the commutation of Blagojevich’s sentence a pardon was announced for former New York City police commissioner who was sentenced to 48 months for tax evasion and false statements back in 2009 and for former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr., who was convicted of not reporting a $400,000 bribe he paid to former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards for a riverboat gambling license.
I don’t think Blagojevich is a particularly sympathetic choice but it isn’t like this is a shocker. Trump has previously flirted with the idea of commuting Blagojevich’s sentence. I’m not as exercised over this as some…and by exercised I mean squirting blood out of bodily orifices.
Blago put a US senate seat up for sale, among many other crimes. He's a thieving, lying, crooked piece of garbage and deserves to rot in jail for many more years. Trump is commuting his sentence just to do a corrupt friend a favor. It's swampy, unethical bullshit. Don't defend it
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) February 18, 2020
Blagojevich has served 8 years in prison, I’m not sure what harm was done. Kerik has already completed his sentence. DeBartolo was convicted over 20 years ago and never served a day in prison. It isn’t like these guys were people planted bombs that killed people.
Serendipitous? Or prophetic? My bet is that this is a sign that Trump is tired of the special counsel generated convictions and is about to move to correct that. Blagojevich and Kerik could be seen as analogs to Manafort and Stone, respectively. All three are from Democrat strongholds. This is also a sign that the lesson that Trump took away from the impeachment fiasco is the correct one, albeit not the one that his enemies had hoped. Instead of leaving him weakened and chastened, the episode improved his approval rating and showed him that his opponents are never going to relent in their attempt to destroy him and that they are, ultimately, both weak and powerless. I think we can expect more of this, particularly in November.