DONALD Trump has gone on a clemency blitz, commuting the 14-year prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and pardoning former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik.
Trump also says he has granted clemency to financier Michael Milken, who pleaded guilty for violating U.S. securities laws.
Kerik served just over three years for tax fraud and lying to the White House while being interviewed to be Homeland Security secretary.
Trump also pardoned Edward DeBartolo Jr., the former San Francisco 49ers owner convicted in a gambling fraud scandal who built one of the most successful NFL teams in the game's history.
DeBartolo, who owned the San Francisco 49ers during their 1980s-1990s dynasty, was involved in one of the biggest owners' scandals in the sport's history.
In 1998, he pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony when he paid $400,000 to former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards in exchange for a riverboat gambling license.
The White House announced the surprise decision to reporters on Tuesday, with NFL greats Jerry Rice, Jim Brown, Ronnie Lott and Charles Haley in attendance.
Trump confirmed the news to reporters before departing for California.
While aboard Air Force One, he said: "I'm thinking about commuting his sentence very strongly.
"I think it’s enough — seven years. He's been in jail for seven years, over a phone call where nothing happens.
"Over a phone call where, you know, he shouldn’t have said what he said, but it was braggadocio, you would say.
"I would think that there have been many politicians, I’m not one of them, by the way, that have said a lot worse over telephones."
Trump called Blagojevich's prison sentence "ridiculous."
Blagojevich was convicted of political corruption just months after he appeared on Trump’s reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice."
More to follow...
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