Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tries to get into his house as he arrives home in Chicago on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, after his release from Colorado prison late Tuesday. Blagojevich walked out of prison Tuesday after President Donald Trump cut short the 14-year prison sentence handed to the former Illinois governor for political corruption. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Blagojevich speaks outside Chicago home following release

February 19, 2020 - 12:37 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich held his first scheduled press event Wednesday since President Donald Trump commuted his sentence for political corruption, answering questions about his future plans and the crimes that landed him in prison.

The Democrat spoke outside his family home in Chicago. A large sign hanging on the home read, “Thanks Mr. President". One man wore a rubber Blagojevich mask and hoisted the former governor's 2006 campaign sign.

“We want to express our most profound and everlasting gratitude to President Trump,” Blagojevich said from outside his house. “He didn't have to do this .... this is an act of kindness.”

Blagojevich, 63, walked out of a federal prison in Colorado on Tuesday after serving eight years of a 14-year sentence for wide-ranging political corruption, just hours after Trump granted him a commutation.

“I'm a Trumpocrat,” Blagojevich said. “If I had the ability to vote, I would vote for him.”

Blagojevich, a one-time contestant on Trump’s reality TV show “Celebrity Apprentice,” has been radioactive politically since his arrest as governor in 2008. It's not clear who might be willing to offer him a job or a lead role in organization or movement.

His convictions included seeking to sell an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president, trying to shake down a children’s hospital and lying to the FBI.

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