U.S. President Donald Trump has indicated that he is considering pardoning domestic diva Martha Stewart and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. In the latter case, there is some speculation that the president would commute or “curtail” his sentence rather than issuing a pardon.
Starting in late 2004, Stewart served five months in a federal correctional facility for what boiled down to allegedly lying to an FBI agent in connection with an insider trading investigation of shares of a biotechnology company that she sold.
A former Celebrity Apprentice contestant who Trump fired on the TV show, in part, because he didn’t know how to use a computer, Blagojevich has been behind bars for about six years, The Hill reported.
“Blagojevich was removed from office and convicted of a wide array of corruption charges, including that he tried to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat after when he was elected president in 2008. The former governor began serving a 14-year prison sentence in 2012.”
Both Stewart, who once hosted an Apprentice spinoff, and Blagojevich are Democrats. Trump told reporters today he thought the Blago prison sentence was excessive even while describing the former governor’s bragging (in taped conversations) about his leverage over the Illinois U.S. Senate appointment as stupid, adding that politicians say dumb things all the time.
Former FBI director and Trump foe James Comey was the federal prosecutor in the Martha Stewart case when he was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
The president announced today that he was giving a full pardon to author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, an outspoken critic of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The Obama administration prosecuted D’Souza for a relatively minor campaign finance violation that usually involves just a civil fine. After pleading guilty to one federal charge, he served eight months in a San Diego halfway house and is currently on probation.
Trump previously pardoned Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, ex-Bush administration aide Scooter Libby who was charged in the Valerie Plame matter, and former Navy officer Kristian Saucier “whose conviction for mishandling classified information became a conservative cause because of its comparisons to Democratic Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server,” USA Today reported.
Comey’s current lawyer, Patrick Fitzgerald, prosecuted Blagojevich and Libby.
Last week, President Trump issued a rare posthumous pardon to world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson.
Yesterday, the POTUS met with Kim Kardashian to discuss prison sentencing reform in general and in particular, the case of a grandmother and first-time drug offender who is serving a life sentence and has already been jailed for more than 20 years.
Blagojevich was turned down by the U.S. Supreme Court last month in his attempt to appeal his conviction.
The potential presidential pardons of Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevich constitute a developing story; please check back with the Inquisitr for updates.