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WASHINGTON/SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) — There’s a new conversation about when former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich may get out of prison.
President Donald Trump told reporters on-board Air Force One Thursday that he is thinking about commuting the former Illinois governor’s 14-year prison sentence.
Trump said he’s not sure Blagojevich needs to be behind bars for “saying something stupid.”
Trump said something similar in 2016 when he spoke to the Chicago Tribune editorial board.
“I think it’s an awfully tough sentence that he got, for what he supposedly did,” Trump told the paper in November 2016. “Because what he did is what politicians do all the time.”
The president said Thursday he is “seriously thinking of a curtailment” of the former governor’s sentence.
Not every Illinois politician agrees.
Bloomington-Normal state Sen. Jason Barickman said ending the former governor’s sentence early will not go over well with many.
“I think it will not be well received in Illinois,” Barickman said. “We are very familiar with Gov. Blagojevich’s efforts to shake people down for money, for all sorts of things, including a prized U.S. senate seat.”
Although Barickman said he wasn’t sure talk of a commutation isn’t just Trump trying to do what he does and push a story.
Blagojevich is about halfway through his 14-year sentence in federal prison on his conviction of trying to sell President Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat and other corruption charges.
The governor’s lawyers said this week that they are preparing a formal petition for commutation to send to Trump.
The Center Square -- formerly known as Watchdog.org and the Illinois News Network -- and their reporters represent 18 states across the United States as the taxpayers' watchdog, exposing the way government really works.