CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was released from prison just hours after President Donald Trump commuted his sentence.
He held a news conference at his home in Chicago at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
Reducing Blagojevich’s prison sentence was one of a handful of cases in which the President intervened.
Political expert John Jackson with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute said Blagojevich’s commutation on Tuesday, Feb. 18 will go down in the history books.
While Illinois is not new to governors serving time, Jackson said the decision to lessen a governor’s sentence is.
Blagojevich was convicted of political corruption in 2011.
“This was an overwhelming vote to impeach him and remove him from office in the first place,” Jackson said.
After Blagojevich was removed from office and before he went to federal prison, he appeared on Trump’s reality TV show “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Jackson said the President’s action “undermines the judicial process.”
“It means that the President doesn’t really have much regard for the judicial branch right now, and he’s showing it in these myriad cases that he’s intervening in," Jackson said.
Illinois Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives disagree with the President’s decision to commute Blagojevich’s sentence.
In a joint statement, Representative Mike Bost, John Shimkus and others said:
Other Illinois legislators also weighed in.
Blagojevich served eight out of his 14-year sentence.
According to the White House, Blagojevich has spent his time in prison improving himself and helping other inmates. Officials say he tutors and teaches GED classes, mentors prisoners and speaks to them about their civic duties.