U.S. President Donald Trump came under fire on Tuesday (February 18) for commuting the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the ex-Illinois governor convicted of trying to peddle Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat.
Trump also pardoned Michael Milken, once considered Wall Street’s “junk bond king,” along with six others, and commuted the sentences of another three people. The recipients of clemency had been convicted on charges ranging from defrauding the federal government to theft.
Blagojevich, a Democrat who appeared on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” reality television show while awaiting trial, began serving a 14-year sentence in 2012 after being convicted of wire fraud, extortion and soliciting bribes while governor.
Within hours, the Chicago Tribune quoted a U.S. Bureau of Prisons statement saying Blagojevich “is no
Blagojevich, 63, was removed from office in 2009 after prosecutors said he tried to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat Obama vacated after winning the 2008 presidential election.
Trump’s decision was criticized by both Democrats and Republicans, although some Democrats supported the move.