Fresh off his pardon of right-wing troll Dinesh D’Souza, President Trump told reporters Thursday that he’s weighing a pardon for Martha Stewart and a commutation for former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.
Both Stewart and Blagojevich have connections to Trump from his previous life as a reality TV host. In 2009, Blagojevich, who is currently in prison on corruption charges, was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice 3, a season won by Poison front man Bret Michaels. Though he was one of the first celebs fired, Blagojevich earned Trump’s praise.
“You have a hell of a lot of guts, I have to tell you. I have a lot of friends where things happen to them, they crawl into a corner, they die. You’re out there punching. So I respect that,” Trump said on the show.
Earlier this week, Blagojevich made his case for a pardon in the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal. He hadn’t tried to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for personal gain, as a jury found in 2011. He was simply fundraising, a “routine and necessary part of America’s political system,” he wrote.
Trump didn’t go so far as to endorse Blagojevich’s defense Thursday, but he did suggest that the punishment didn’t fit the crime.
The idea of pardoning Stewart, meanwhile, has become a favored cause of some conservatives who see a potential pardon as a way to stick it to former FBI director James Comey, who was responsible for prosecuting the former host of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, a spinoff of Trump’s show that lasted only one season.