The move is likely to face steep blowback, since Mr. Blagojevich’s crime has long been seen as the epitome of the kind of pay-to-play that Mr. Trump has claimed he wanted to stop when he took office…

“I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly; he was given close to 18 years in prison,” Mr. Trump said. “And a lot of people thought it was unfair, like a lot of other things — and it was the same gang, the Comey gang and all these sleaze bags that did it. And his name is Rod Blagojevich. And I’m thinking about commuting his sentence.”…

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser who has internally championed pardons and commutations, had suggested Mr. Blagojevich be pardoned, saying that it would appeal to Democrats, one of those people said. Other aides told Mr. Trump that such a move would be politically unwise given the nature of Mr. Blagojevich’s conviction; instead, commuting the sentence was what had been settled on.