The Latest: Trump pardons conservative commentator D’Souza
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s consideration of pardons and sentence commutations (all times local):
President Donald Trump has pardoned Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative commentator he claims “was treated very unfairly by our government!” D’Souza had pleaded guilty to campaign finance fraud.
Trump says he’s also thinking about clemency for celebrity lifestyle guru Martha Stewart and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY’-uh-vich), among “lots” of other people.
Blagojevich is serving a 14-year prison sentence on numerous counts of corruption, including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by Barack Obama. Stewart served a stint in federal prison after being convicted of charges related to a stock sale.
Both had connections to Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” TV show: Blagojevich was a contestant in 2010 and Stewart hosted a 2005 spinoff, “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.”
A trial attorney for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY’-uh-vitch) says she’s excited that President Donald Trump is considering commuting the Democrat’s 14-year prison sentence for corruption.
Lauren Kaeseberg tells The Associated Press the sentence was too harsh. Blagojevich’s wife, Patti Blagojevich, also released a statement, saying she and the couple’s two children have long awaited the day “when Rod could come back home where he belongs.”
Blagojevich argued he engaged in run-of-the-mill politicking and never crossed legal lines. But prosecutors say he used his powers as governor to shake people down for campaign contributions, including a children’s hospital.
President Donald Trump says he is considering commuting the sentence of ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and pardoning Martha Stewart.
The comments came aboard Air Force One on Thursday after he announced on Twitter that he planned to pardon conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza.
Trump tells reporters that Blagojevich said something dumb but that “lots of politicians” do and thinks his sentence is excessive.
The Democratic former governor began serving his 14-year prison sentence on corruption convictions in 2012. His scheduled release date is 2024. Blagojevich was also a contestant on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” reality television show in 2010.
Stewart was convicted in 2004 of obstructing justice and lying to the government about why she unloaded stock just before the price plummeted.
Trump says she “used to be one of my biggest fans.”
President Donald Trump says he will pardon conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance fraud.
Trump tweeted Thursday: “Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!”
In 2014, D’Souza was sentenced to five years of probation after he pleaded guilty to violating federal election law by making illegal contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign in the names of others.