Trump frees Blagojevich in clemency blitz

By AAP Newswire

US President Donald Trump has gone on a clemency blitz, commuting the 14-year prison sentence of former Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich and pardoning former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik among a long list of others.

Trump also said he had granted clemency to financier Michael Milken, who pleaded guilty for violating US securities laws.

Kerik served just more than 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.

Blagojevich, who appeared on Trump's reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice was convicted of political corruption, including seeking to sell an appointment to Barack Obama's old senate seat and trying to shake down a children's hospital.

But Trump said Blagojevich had been subjected to a "ridiculous sentence" that didn't fit his crimes.

Trump also pardoned Ariel Friedler, a technology entrepreneur, who pleaded guilty to accessing a computer without authorisation; Paul Pogue, a construction company owner who underpaid his taxes; David Safavian, who was convicted of obstructing an investigation into a trip he took while he was a senior government official; and Angela Stanton, an author who served a six-month home sentence for her role in a stolen vehicle ring.