CHICAGO — One of the last options former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has of early release from prison rests on a pending decision with the man whose Senate seat Blagojevich was convicted of trying to sell, President Barack Obama.
The Department of Justice confirms the 60-year-old Blagojevich submitted a request to have his 14-year prison sentence for corruption commuted. His convictions include counts for seeking to exchange an appointment to Obama's old Senate seat for campaign cash.
If Obama does not decide on Blagojevich's request by his last day in office, it carries over to President-elect Donald Trump. Blagojevich once appeared on Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice."
Historically, presidents grant only a small percentage of commutation requests. Among the factors Obama can consider is whether Blagojevich's sentence is disproportionate to the crime.