Trump considers pardoning Martha Stewart and a possible commutation for Rod Blagojevich
Trump is mulling Stewart's pardon as his attorney Rudy Giuliani has taken to comparing the dilemma the president faces about testifying before the special counsel Robert Mueller
US President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was considering a pardon for celebrity chef and television personality Martha Stewart, who was convicted in 2004 on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements related to a probe of alleged insider trading.
"I think to a certain extent Martha Stewart was harshly and unfairly treated," the president said while on a flight to Texas, explaining why she could be pardoned.
Trump is mulling Stewart's pardon even as his attorney Rudy Giuliani has taken to comparing the dilemma the president faces about testifying before the special counsel Robert Mueller to Stewart's prosecution.
"Martha Stewart never would have gone to jail if she hadn't lied during her testimony," Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said on CNN.
Stewart, who was investigated for insider trading, was convicted of the above-mentioned felony.
Stewart was prosecuted by former FBI Director James Comey, who was then attorney gveneral in MAnhattan, and served five months in federal prison on charges related to a 2001 stock sale. Comey was fired by the Trump administration last year.
However, when it comes to Stewart, Trump has shared mixed opinions about her.
In a 2006 letter to Stewart, the president blamed her for the poor ratings of NBC's "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart," a spinoff of Trump's "The Celebrity Apprentice." And the very next month, he said of Stewart: "She's a wonderful woman."
Years later, in a 2013 tweet, Trump wrote: "She looks terrific, better than ever, any guy would be lucky to be with her."
The president also said that he is considering commuting the sentence of disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. He said that he believed Blagojevich was treated "unfairly," while noting that the Illinois politician is a Democrat, "he shouldn't have been put in jail."
Blagojevich is in the sixth year of a 14-year sentence in Colorado prison. The Illinois Democrat was found guilty of attempting to trade the US Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama for money or favors.
"I am seriously thinking about – not pardoning – but I am seriously thinking of a curtailment of Blagojevich," Trump said before a reporter offered the word "commutation."
Both Blagojevich and Stewart are two former "Apprentice" series stars and Trump was quick to say that Blagojevich was on the show "for a short time" in his remarks about the potential commutation.
The president earlier announced that he would pardon conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza. Last week, Trump also pardoned the deceased boxer Jack Johnson.
Trump's pardons have raised questions about whether he is issuing pardons to send a message to his political allies and former aides who are under investigation by Mueller, a suggestion the White House has repeatedly rejected.