Tags: blagojevich | obama | pardon | peter flaherty

Uproar Over Trump Talk of Freeing Blagojevich

Image: Uproar Over Trump Talk of Freeing Blagojevich
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich with a "Free Gov. Blago" sign in Chicago in 2012. (AP/M. Spencer Green)

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Friday, 01 June 2018 11:16 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Not long after President Trump hinted at ending former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich's prsion term, some conservative leaders wasted no time voicing their objections.

“President Trump would be making a huge mistake in pardoning the imprisoned Rod Blagojevich,” declared Peter Flaherty, veteran conservative activist and chairman of the think tank National Legal and Policy Center. “Blagojevich is corrupt to the core. He is not the victim of anything except his own guile.”

Flaherty on Blagojevich's 14-year prison term: “He actually tried to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat [in 2009]. If he were not arrested in time, Blagojevich would have likely sold the seat to then-Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. for $1.5 million in campaign contributions.”

On May 28, Blagojevich wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal claiming he was imprisoned simply for “playing politics.”

Four days later, Trump referred to Blagojevich when he told a reporter "[His sentence] is, I think, really unfair." Echoing Blagojevich’s op-ed, the president went on to say the former governor was convicted "for being stupid and saying things that every other politician, you know, that many other politicians say. I am seriously thinking about — not pardoning — but I am seriously thinking of a curtailment of [the sentence of] Blagojevich," Trump said.

“That is exactly the problem. In Illinois, corruption is endemic,” said Flaherty. "Blagojevich’s Republican predecessor, George Ryan, also went to prison. A pardon of Blagojevich would seriously undercut the fight against corruption.”

Coming on the heels of the Justice Department decision not to retry Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, Flaherty added, “a Blagojevich pardon would put Trump firmly on the side of protecting crooked politicians. You can’t drain the swamp when at the same time you are rescuing the leeches and eels.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.


 

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Not long after President Trump hinted at ending former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich's prsion term, some conservative leaders wasted no time voicing their objections.
blagojevich, obama, pardon, peter flaherty
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2018-16-01
Friday, 01 June 2018 11:16 AM
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