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Obama won’t free Blagojevich

Thursday, Jan 19, 2017

* No surprise here

President Barack Obama made his final grants of clemency on Thursday with less than a day left in office and imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was not on the list.

Blagojevich was handed a 14-year sentence on corruption charges, with one of the most sensational his attempt to “sell” the Illinois Senate seat then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was vacating after being elected president in November 2008.

The Justice Department earlier confirmed that Blagojevich, in year four of his imprisonment, filed a request to have his sentence commuted. He was arrested in December 2008, a few weeks after the presidential election.

Blagojevich’s bid for clemency from Obama was always extremely unlikely because of the nature of his offense. […]

Obama cut short the sentences of 330 federal inmates convicted of drug crimes on Thursday, with Obama focused on cutting the prison time of offenders with overly harsh sentences that would not be imposed under guidelines for judges in place today.

Some people insisted for years that Obama had some sort of special relationship with Blagojevich which would lead to a pardon. They were living in a fantasy land.

…Adding… Pool report forwarded by the White House press office…

A travel/photo lid has been called at 4:10 p.m. […]

And with that, Barack Obama’s final full day as president has come to an unofficial close.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 3:48 pm:

    Glad “reality” is finally facing the silly notion Obama was going to pardon Blagojevich.

    Now the drum beat begins “President Trump liked Rod. You’ll see, President Trump will pardon Rod.”

    The thing with Rod is… fantasy follows him everywhere.

  2. - Stones - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 3:49 pm:

    Had Blago demonstrated some contrition he probably could have shaved a few years off that sentence. Just my 2 cents.

  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    I bet he laid awake all night last night awaiting news regarding his request. In fact, he probably hasn’t given up all hope of it quite yet.

  4. - m - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 3:58 pm:

    I don’t know that Blago deserved a commutation, but it would be more fun if he was back in the state.

  5. - Red tower - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    If he wasn’t going to free don seigleman where in the world did the blago bunnies think he would free him.

  6. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:01 pm:

    Rod has a much better chance of receiving clemency from Trump than he ever had of getting it from Obama. Turning Rod Blagojevich loose on the streets of Chicago would drive Rahm Emaunel and a lot of others nuts. Once Trump understands this, expect some form of clemency to be fast-tracked.

  7. - siriusly - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:02 pm:

    Blago has a better chance getting a commutation from Trump.

    I’m going to miss President Obama. This day is so sad for so many of us who fear the future.

  8. - Norseman - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    Obama is into education and he sees that Blago is doing such a bang up job educating his fellow inmates.

  9. - OkComputer - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:07 pm:

    Don’t you see?! This is actually part of the conspiracy!

    Obama is trying to keep a lid on Rod in federal prison so he can’t get out and tell the real truth!

    Don’t you see!? The absence of a pardon is more proof that they were in cahoots!

  10. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:07 pm:

    Darn. There goes that conspiracy theory …

  11. - OkComputer - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:07 pm:

    version 2:

    You can’t pardon someone who is ALREADY IN WITNESS PROTECTION from Obama himself!

  12. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:08 pm:

    I’m glad that I didn’t place prop bets on this one!

  13. - OkComputer - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    version 3:

    Have you noticed that you never have seen Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama in the same place at the same time?

    Coincidence? I think no!

  14. - OkComputer - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:10 pm:

    version 4:

    Trump to Blagojevich: You’re PARDONED and You’re HIRED! Health and Human Services Secretary!

  15. - Ginhouse Tommy - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:13 pm:

    The only problem Obama had was to find a prison big enough to hold Blago and his ego. That crook is right where he belongs. Let him rot there.

  16. - Amalia - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:22 pm:

    too bad he was not a traitor, then he would have had a chance.

  17. - Nick Name - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:27 pm:

    “Some people insisted for years that Obama had some sort of special relationship with Blagojevich which would lead to a pardon. They were living in a fantasy land.”

    Kenyan birth; secret Muslim; gun grab; FEMA camp roundup; secret Blago-Obama relationship: fantasy land is what you get from sitting around the Fox News campfire for eight years.

  18. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:38 pm:

    He could get a job under the Trump admin. One thing Blago can do is make a deal.

  19. - Bill Edley - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:55 pm:

    Oh…right…Just where I want my federal taxes to go, incarcerating for another decade a non-violent politician that has already served more time than was necessary.

  20. - A guy - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 4:58 pm:

    Blago made a strategic error not trying to get transferred to Gitmo. His chances of clemency would have increased there. Of course, he’d have to be willing to live in Oman for a while.

  21. - Cleric dcn - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 5:09 pm:

    I did not think the pardon was coming but frankly Blago got way too much. Just let him out and forget it, he is more use out than in.

  22. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 5:15 pm:

    Mike Madigan and the President and former Gov he controls.

  23. - Joe Biden Was Here - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 5:36 pm:

    Overall an up day

  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 6:01 pm:

    The sentiment that he got too much time astounds me. We lock people up for years for smoking crack, but when the Governor of state is utterly corrupt and tries to sell a friggin US Senate seat, we want to turn him loose.

    The difference in magnitude and harm of those crimes is mind-boggling.

  25. - weltschmerz - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 6:33 pm:

    Blago should have taken a shot at that transgender thing.

  26. - John - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 6:35 pm:

    I’m very well aware of the damage Rod had on our state….But I still feel like 14 years was too much.

    Rapist and even some murderers get less.

  27. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 6:48 pm:

    Blago, who for years ignored his duty as Governor regarding clemency petitions, now gets his own shot down. As the say, karma is a b…..

  28. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 7:06 pm:


  29. - Southside Markie - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 8:49 pm:

    What Blago did was wrong. But ask yourself. In the context of what others have gotten, was it a 14 year sentence-worthy wrong? I don’t think so and that is why I think, morally, the President should have commuted part of the sentence. Politically, it was never going to happen.

  30. - Freezeup - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 8:52 pm:

    John, the lack of justice isn’t that “rapists and murderers got less”, it’s that they didn’t get an appropriate sentence.

  31. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 9:17 pm:

    =But ask yourself. In the context of what others have gotten, was it a 14 year sentence-worthy wrong?=

    When it comes to “what others have gotten” I look to courts to determine what’s fair. I’m not even sure who the “others” are that you refer to. The appellate court was explicit and clear in their ruling. They didn’t express any of the moral conflicts you refer to. In fact, I believe they characterized the evidence as “overwhelming”. So you can opine on whether or not this was just, but I’d rather leave that to the sentencing experts.

  32. - GraduatedCollegeStudent - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 9:38 pm:

    ===What Blago did was wrong. But ask yourself. In the context of what others have gotten, was it a 14 year sentence-worthy wrong? I don’t think so and that is why I think, morally, the President should have commuted part of the sentence. Politically, it was never going to happen.===

    He tried to sell a U.S. Senate seat. I know we’ve seen an erosion of our Democratic norms in the last few years, but think about the power a single Senator has in the legislative process and the advantages of incumbency, and then think about what he was trying to take away from the people of Illinois.

    If it was up to me, he should have received capital punishment, so 14 years is fine.

  33. - Michael Westen - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 10:29 pm:

    If only Blago had the foresight to be a drug dealer or a traitor, he’d be a free man today.

  34. - Sigh - Thursday, Jan 19, 17 @ 10:32 pm:

    Trump will pardon Blago and will have him working with Steve Harvey to address the crime problem in Chicago. This will be a new reality show call Reformed.

  35. - Red tower - Friday, Jan 20, 17 @ 5:00 am:

    @michael westen so you don’t like ‘traitors’ so what do you think of the sentence David petraeus got for his crime?

  36. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 20, 17 @ 7:50 am:

    I’m waiting for a topic that doesn’t elicit a cheap shot at President Obama from the Michael Westens of the world. But I’ve been waiting for eight years.

  37. - NorthsideNoMore - Friday, Jan 20, 17 @ 8:42 am:

    G Rod never appreciated the political gifts he was given time and again…although 14 years was a excessive, The President pehaps recognized that (a long time ago) and felt the stains Rod created need to play out to the end.

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