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Trump Says He’s Considering Pardon for Martha Stewart, Commuting Rod Blagojevich’s Sentence

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump told reporters he was considering a pardon of Martha Stewart and commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Trump made the comments on a flight to Texas.

They have some history with Trump in his previous career as a reality TV personality. Stewart was the host of a spinoff of “The Apprentice” in 2005, and Blagojevich appeared as a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice” before he began his sentence.

Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison in 2004 on charges that she lied about a stock sale as part of an insider trading case.

Blagojevich was removed from office in 2009. Two years later, he was convicted on multiple charges of corruption, including attempting to “sell” the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when he became president. He is serving a 14-year sentence. He appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2010, but was fired after four episodes.

Trump told reporters, per a pool report, that Blagojevich’s sentence was excessive and that he had been punished for “saying things that every other politician, you know that many other politicans say.

“And If you look at what he said he said something to the effect like what do I get … stupid thing to say. But he’s sort of saying .. he’s gonna make a U.S. senator which is a very big deal. And it was foolish.”

He said that he doesn’t know Blagojevich, a Democrat, “other than that he was on ‘The Apprentice’ for a short period of time.”

He said that “to a certain extent Martha Stewart was harshly and unfairly treated.”

“She used to be my biggest fan in the world…before I became a politician.”

Trump’s remarks came just hours after he announced that he would pardon conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza. D’Souza had plead guilty to a felony campaign finance violation.

Trump said that he did not know D’Souza and had never met him, but “read and papers” and saw him on TV and said that he was “very unfairly treated” and that he should have received a “minor fine.”

“Nobody asked me to do it,” Trump said of the pardon.

“What they did to him was horrible,” he said.

He said that he spoke to D’Souza for three minutes on Wednesday night to tell him about the pardon and “he almost had a heart attack.”

D’Souza did visit the White House last year to meet with chief strategist Steve Bannon and another Trump aide, Sebastian Gorka, as he was promoting his new book. Bannon and Gorka were both forced out of their roles in August.

Trump has pardoned a series of high-profile individuals, including former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former aide Scooter Libby and, in a posthumous gesture last week, boxer Jack Johnson.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the process of granting the pardons raises questions of whether Trump is signaling to those who have been questioned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that he is willing to use that authority.

“The President’s ad hoc use of the pardon power is concerning enough,” Warner wrote on Twitter. “But the possibility that he may also be sending a message to witnesses in a criminal investigation into his campaign is extremely dangerous. In the United States of America, no one is above the law.”

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