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What's next for Rod Blagojevich? Can he practice law? Run for office? Become a poet?

Jason Meisner And Stacy St. Clair, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHICAGO -- Rod Blagojevich and his family have spent the past eight years fighting for his freedom. Now that President Donald Trump has granted their wish by commuting Blagojevich's sentence and sending him back to Chicago about four years early, the 63-year-old disgraced ex-governor's future is here.

So, what now?

Here's what we know about Blagojevich's potential next steps:

CAN HE RUN FOR OFFICE AGAIN?

Yes and no.

He can't run in Illinois, a rule imposed by the state Senate when it removed him from the governor's office in 2009. In a unanimous vote, senators barred Blagojevich from holding any future state elected office.

 

The former U.S. congressman still could run for federal office, including the presidency, because he meets the age, citizenship and residency requirements. That doesn't mean he'd automatically take a seat if elected, though. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate can vote to expel any members who they think are unfit for the position.

WHAT WILL HE DO FOR A JOB?

Good question. He'll need one, per the terms of his supervised release -- the federal equivalent of parole.

Trump's order specifically noted the president was not commuting the two-year period of supervised release imposed by U.S. Judge James Zagel. Under the conditions, Blagojevich has to meet with probation regularly, cannot leave the jurisdiction without permission and must seek employment.

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