It’s certainly worth noting, or at least pointing out, the irony of President Trump commuting the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the disgraced former Illinois governor. As the Chicago Tribune notes, during his presidential campaign last year, Mr. Trump proudly announced that he had pardoned himself. Mr. Trump said, “I’ve been very critical of President Obama on many things, but he had the skill of sending somebody to prison who is politically useful, but I did not.”
Mr. Blagojevich was convicted of election-related offenses in 2011 after he, his wife and campaign treasurer attempted to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama after his election as president. Back in December, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Illinois Department of Corrections expected Mr. Blagojevich’s prison sentence would be reduced by just two years.
In February 2009, Blagojevich made the unprecedented move of launching his own website — misscause.com — to “spread word of his accusations of corruption and popular support.” “Vote for a reformer,” the site advised visitors. “Blagojevich is running a clean campaign, a vision of honesty and integrity, unlike so many other politicians, whose actions and integrity are the stuff of legends.”
Asked about the site in an interview with CNN in March 2013, Mr. Blagojevich said, “It was fun to push a button one day and see the results that we got, and it just made me happy to be a part of this.” Mr. Blagojevich added, “Somebody called me yesterday and he said, ‘I just want to let you know that there’s been a change in the world. The beleaguered campaign launched a web page and looks good.’”
Earlier this month, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to impeach Mr. Blagojevich, who has also been convicted of money laundering and securities fraud. He resigned in 2009 as governor and was indicted soon after for his involvement in the alleged political corruption. He is due to be released in 2023.
Mr. Blagojevich’s wife Patti announced last year that she planned to seek re-election as Illinois’ treasurer. She also announced last month that she plans to run for U.S. Senate.
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