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With Appeals Exhausted, Blagojevich Pins Hopes On Clemency From Trump

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich has a new plan for shortening his prison sentence.

He had been concentrating on the U.S. Supreme Court to take up his case, but now he's targeting the White House, after the high court rejected his final appeal.

The Supreme Court rejection came with stunning simplicity and brutal brevity on Monday. On page two of a list of dispositions: certiorari denied, Blagojevich, Rod vs. The United States.

In a statement, the former governor's wife, Patti, said, "Rod, Amy, Annie, and I could not be more disappointed. Now we'll have to put our faith elsewhere, and find another way."

In other words, as she told CBS 2 last week, Patti Blagojevich is not giving up on reuniting her family, just shifting to another target.

"The only consolation I have is that we're all here. We're all healthy. It's not a life sentence, right? So eventually, someday, we'll all be together again," she said. "Hopefully, our president will help us out, and make that a reality sooner rather than later."

Indeed, the last hope for Blagojevich to shorten his 14-year prison sentence is perhaps the only politician with a personality and ego as big as the former governor's: President Donald Trump.

If the president wishes to help Blagojevich, he has two options for clemency.

"[Trump] can pardon [Blagojevich], which means the case is over, he gets out of jail. It doesn't mean he's innocent, but the case is over. Or he could commute the sentence," CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller said.

By commuting the sentence, Trump could allow Blagojevich to go free sooner than his scheduled 2024 release date.

Blagojevich is no stranger to Trump. While awaiting his corruption trial, Blagojevich was a contestant on Trump's Celebrity Apprentice reality show.

In a 2011 Forbes magazine interview, Trump expressed sympathy for Blagojevich.

"That's a rough thing for him and his family. I feel badly for him and his family. It's a tragedy," Trump told Forbes.

Patti Blagojevich said she wasn't doing any local TV interviews on Monday, because they couldn't do her husband any good. However, she said she might go on one of the Fox News cable shows.

As she put it, "We have a different audience now. It's an audience of one."

Of course, Trump is known to watch a lot of Fox News. It's the only news network he likes.

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