Blagojevich praises Trump from Chicago home after release

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich gushed about Donald Trump a day after the Republican president commuted his sentence for political corruption.

In this March 15, 2012 file photo, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich departs his Chicago home for Littleton, Colo., to begin his 14-year prison sentence on corruption charges. Imprisoned ex-governor, Blagojevich, filed paperwork Tuesday, June 5, 2018, asking President Donald Trump to commute his 14-year prison term for corruption that included seeking to sell an appointment to the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Blagojevich spoke Wednesday outside his Chicago home, praising Trump throughout his remarks.

A large sign hanging on a porch of the home outside home expressed gratitude to the Republican Trump. It read, “Thanks Mr. President.”

The former governor walked out of a federal prison in Colorado on Tuesday after serving eight years of a 14-year sentence for wide-ranging political corruption and just hours after Trump officially commuted his sentence.

Reporters and onlookers were on hand as the now silver-haired Blagojevich left the gates of the Federal Corrections Institution Englewood south of Denver.

Blagojevich’s crimes included seeking to sell an appointment to Barack Obama’s former Senate seat and trying to shake down a children’s hospital.

The president said the punishment imposed on the Democrat and one-time contestant on Trump’s reality TV show “Celebrity Apprentice” was excessive.

Trump also said Tuesday he has pardoned former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik and granted clemency to financier Michael Milken.

Trump made the announcements Tuesday as he departed Washington en route to California and other western points.

Trump pardoned Edward DeBartolo Jr., the former San Francisco 49ers owner convicted in a gambling fraud scandal, and several others as well, including a technology entrepreneur who accessed a computer without authorization, a construction company owner who underpaid his taxes; and an author who served a six-month home sentence for her role in a stolen vehicle ring.

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