Rod Blagojevich released from prison after Trump commutes his sentence
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich walked out of federal prison late Tuesday evening and flew back to Chicago after President Donald Trump commuted his sentence.
Speaking to Chicago TV station WGN-TV, Blagojevich said he was "grateful" to Trump.
"He didn't have to do this, he's a Republican president and I was a Democratic governor. I'll have a lot more to say tomorrow." Blagojevich told WGN-TV in an interview on the Denver airport tram on his way out of Colorado.
Blagojevich, a Democrat and one-time contestant on "The Celebrity Apprentice," had been serving a 14-year sentence in a Colorado federal prison. He was convicted in 2011 of federal charges of using his powers as governor to extract campaign money and other political favors in exchange for naming a successor to fill the Illinois Senate seat left open when Barack Obama became president, but Trump objected to the length of his sentence.
"He served eight years in jail - a long time," Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. "Many people disagree with the sentence."Rod Blagojevich:Trump commutes 14-year sentence of former Illinois Gov. Blagojevich amid blitz of pardons
"I didn't do the things they said I did," the former governor said to WGN-TV as he arrived in Chicago's O'Hare Airport.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Blagojevich shook hands and signed autographs with supporters as he left the airport and walked into a white van.More:Trump commutes 14-year sentence of former Illinois Gov. Blagojevich amid blitz of pardons
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, said in a Twitter post Trump "abused his pardon power in inexplicable ways to reward his friends and condone corruption," adding his predecessor's pardon sent "the wrong message at the wrong time."
Patti Blagojevich, the former first lady of Illinois, announced on Twitter her husband would have a "homecoming" press conference at their home later today.
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