Trump’s clemency spree includes Blagojavech

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojavech is among those granted clemency for their crimes by President Trump. Others include financier Michael Milken and disgraced New York police commissioner Bernie Kerik.


National News

February 19, 2020 - 10:31 AM

Rod Blagojavech, fromn left, Michael Milken and Bernard Kerik Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump went on a clemency blitz Tuesday, commuting former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year prison sentence and pardoning former New York City police commissioner Bernie Kerik, among a long list of others.

Those who got a break from Trump include financier Michael Milken, the “junk bond king” who served two years in prison in the early 1990s after pleading guilty to violating U.S. securities laws, and Edward DeBartolo Jr., the former San Francisco 49ers owner convicted in a gambling fraud scandal after building one of the most successful NFL teams in history. But Trump also commuted the sentences of several women with more sympathetic cases to balance out the men convicted of corruption.

In all, Trump took clemency actions related to 11 people, his latest interventions in the justice system as he faces growing criticism for weighing in on the cases of former aides. Trump made clear that he saw similarities between efforts to investigate his own conduct and those that took down Blagojevich, a Democrat who appeared on Trump’s reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice.”

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