Blagojevich files paperwork asking Trump to commute sentence

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich pauses while speaking to the media at the Dirksen Federal Building December 7, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison after he was found guilty of 17 public corruption charges. (Photo by Frank Polich/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — Illinois’ imprisoned ex-governor, Rod Blagojevich, has filed paperwork asking President Donald Trump to commute his 14-year prison term for corruption that included seeking to sell an appointment to the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president.

A spokesman for Blagojevich’s lawyers told the Chicago Tribune it was submitted Tuesday to the Department of Justice. The Chicago Tribune reports the paperwork is a formality and that Trump doesn’t necessarily require it to act.

Trump last week broached the possibility of freeing the 61-year-old, suggesting the one-time “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant was convicted for “being stupid.” But many Illinois voters regarded Blagojevich’s corruption as brazen. His convictions included attempting to extort a children’s hospital.

Blagojevich’s wife, Patti, recently went on a media blitz to encourage Trump to intervene to reduce her husband’s sentence.