Senator Richard Durbin says he may ask the president to commute the prison sentence of former Illinois Governor George Ryan.
Durbin says he hasn't taken any action yet and doesn't know whether he will.
But he added, "I am considering it at this moment."
The Illinois Democrat made the comments Tuesday at a news conference on an unrelated topic.
Ryan is serving a 6½-year sentence for racketeering and other offenses.
The one-term Republican governor steered state leases and contracts to cronies, killed a bribery investigation and used state resources to run his political campaigns.
Durbin didn't elaborate on why he might seek leniency for Ryan.