01:30 - Source: CNN
Blagojevich lawyer: He said stupid things (2018)
Washington CNN —  

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is officially asking President Donald Trump to commute his prison sentence, filing the clemency paperwork on Tuesday, a spokesman for Blagojevich’s legal team, Adam Farragut, confirmed to CNN.

Blagojevich, a Democrat, is serving a 14-year sentence after being convicted on 18 felony corruption charges in 2011.

The move comes days after Trump told reporters he was considering commuting Blagojevich’s sentence, as well as pardoning Martha Stewart. Trump said the former governor was convicted “for being stupid and saying things that every other politician, you know that many other politicians say.”

“I am seriously thinking about – not pardoning – but I am seriously thinking of a curtailment of Blagojevich,” Trump said.

Currently, there isn’t a pending case with the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney for Blagojevich, however, “It can take a couple of weeks, if not a few months, for new clemency cases to be accepted for review and added to our system as ‘pending cases,’” according to the Justice Department website.

One of Blagojevich’s attorneys, Leonard Goodman, released a statement on Tuesday, which was provided to CNN by Goodman’s legal assistant, Robert Mamet, regarding the filing.

Goodman’s statement said the petition for commutation argues that Blagojevich’s sentence is unfair, among other points.

“No other elected official has been held to this standard with respect to campaign fund-raising. Few if any politicians could convince a jury that there was ‘no connection’ between campaign contributions and official acts, as Blagojevich was required to do,” the statement said.

According to Farragut, Blagojevich also filed clemency paperwork in November 2016 while President Barack Obama was in office.

Blagojevich’s conviction also has connections to ex-FBI Director James Comey, who Trump fired in 2017. A member of Comey’s legal team, Patrick Fitzgerald, was US attorney when Blagojevich was arrested in Chicago in 2008.

CNN’s Marlena Baldacci and Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.