President Trump pardons 11 white collar criminals, as move draws criticism

Politics

WASHINGTON- President Trump has pardoned a former contestant on his “Celebrity Apprentice” reality show. Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was one of 11 white collar criminals who received clemency yesterday from Mr. Trump, who referred to himself afterwards as the nation’s “chief law-enforcement officer.”

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is back home in Chicago after President Trump commuted his prison sentence on Tuesday.

The Democrat who was once a contestant on President Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” was convicted in 2011 of trying to sell then-President Barack Obama’s vacated senate seat.  Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

“He served eight years in jail. He has a long time to go. Many people disagree with his sentence,” said President Trump.

 President Trump granted commutations and pardons to 11 people Tuesday, including former “junk bond king” Michael Milken, former NFL owner Eddie Debartolo Jr. and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.  They were convicted on charges that included fraud, corruption, and lying.

 President Trump says he relied on personal recommendations when making his decisions, but his critics are saying clemency is mostly being granted to those with connections.

There is also push-back from prosecutor’s on Blagojevich’s case who said: “…a justice system must hold public officials accountable for corruption.”

President Trump would not say on Tuesday if he would pardon his longtime friend Roger Stone, who is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow after being convicted on seven felony counts.

 The President has also said he believes former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been treated unfairly.

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