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Report: Trump “strongly considering” Blagojevich commutation

Thursday, May 31, 2018

* Dana Kozlov last night

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich is preparing to formally ask President Donald Trump to release him from prison early. […]

Blagojevich’s attorney, Len Goodman, says he plans to send his formal petition for a commutation of sentence to the President in the next few weeks.

* Today…

…Adding… More info…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Colin O'Scopy - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    He could be home by 4th of July….

  2. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    First a full year budget moving now this. Just what is next Brady announcing his support for a new GRT?

  3. - Sir Reel - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    Takes one to know one.

  4. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    Quick Patty, call Trump up and tell him how much you hate the media.

  5. - Birdseed - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    I can’t wait to see Blago wearing a red MAGA hat.

  6. - Spliff - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    please, please, please … 45 and the GOP will wear that like an anchor in Illinois across the board.

  7. - OneMan - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    Oh man,
    Imagine Rod following JB around asking “Remember me” all summer.

  8. - Grand Avenue - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    I’m fine with him getting out of prison, I just don’t want him to come back to Illinois - can he move to DC to be close to his buddy President Trump?

  9. - Colin O'Scopy - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    =I can’t wait to see Blago wearing a red MAGA hat=

    With tufts of white hair coming out of the side.

  10. - Grand Avenue - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    If this happens, the Blagojevich media tour would not be the best thing for JB Pritzker’s campaign.

  11. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:16 am:

    As I type this, a panel of CNN talking heads is almost having kittens on-air at the prospect of Rod getting sprung.

  12. - Henry Francis - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:17 am:

    Apparently Donnie’s summit with fellow reality tv personality Kim Kardashian has opened his eyes to the injustice.

  13. - Lake County Voter - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    Now that all this “law and order” and “swamp draining” is going so well, so long Jeff Sessions, and congratulations Rod Blagojevich, our new Attorney General.

  14. - Frolicking - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    Good. He’s doing more time than George Ryan.

  15. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    I’m sure the hundreds and perhaps thousands of legitimate requests for pardons or commutations are comforted to know that the primary requirement for action these days seems to be fame over substance.

  16. - RNUG - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    Dumb, dumb, dumb …

  17. - Ambrose Chase - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    Well at least he can’t hold any public office in this state again. Try commuting that, Mr. President.

  18. - Sue - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    Blagos sentence was too long given what Rezko and Levine(both of whom were more culpable)got. Send him home to his family

  19. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:22 am:


    Commute, yes, pardon, no.

    Rod needs to remain a felon by all measures.

  20. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:23 am:

    I wonder how these Trump supporters can emotionally handle this Trump logic if he commutes this sentence. Rauner press releases would be great as well.

  21. - Chris P. Bacon - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    Commutation absolutely makes sense. Trump the only serious leader once again. 6 years served is more than enough for the guy given what he did.

    This follows Kim Kardashian’s tweet today thanking the President for meeting with her in the White House yesterday re prison and sentencing reform. This President is winning on so many levels.

  22. - DuPage Moderate - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    It should be commuted. He should remain a felon for all of time.

  23. - Return of the Mop - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    Honestly, Blago was an idiot but they really through the book at him and he deserves the commutation.

    If he is pardoned (even if he isn’t, quite frankly), I think there is a greater than zero percent chance he winds up as an alderman or on water rec or something. I know the impeachment and senate conviction barred him from holding statewide office but I wouldn’t count him out of other races. Guy has more charisma than any human I’ve ever met even if he does not have the matching IQ.

  24. - Board Watcher - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    I always felt his sentence was way to extreme. The other worrisome issue I had, was with his appeal. The rules of the 7th Circus are crystal clear. All appeals are to be heard by a RANDOM selection of three Judges. So explain to me how Easterbrook ( a known hater of all politicians ) was picked to hear the appeals for George Ryan, Beavers, Blago, Vrodolyak and Schock ? Lady justice is suppose to be blind, but IMO dosen’t appear to be in the 7th circus court of appeals. For that reason alone I hope the guy is released he has done enough time already. Again JMO

  25. - Stark - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    Regardless of how you feel about the guy it’s absolutely brilliant how he has targeted his statements to the one person in particular who also feels victimized by the media and existing political classes.

  26. - Billy Bush - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:30 am:

    The rule of law doesn’t apply to famous people. When you are famous, you can do anything.

  27. - Colin O'Scopy - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    Will he have to admit his crimes in order to have his sentence commuted?

  28. - Hamlet's Ghost - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    This is part of a larger effort by President Trump to normalize campaign finance crimes and public corruption as just being politics as usual.

    By including Democrats this becomes less “partisan” and promotes the “both sides do it” theme.

  29. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    Trump’s letting his peeps know, on a regular basis now, that he’s willing to use his pardon and commutation powers for those he says have been treated “unfair” by the Justice Department and FBI.

    Message: Let’s all be like Lil’ Fonzies, and be cool. I’ve got an ace in the hole.

  30. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    Rauner is excited, Rod and JB can finish up those conversations in person.

  31. - Anon221 - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    Blago might get a commutation, but D’Souza gets a pardon. Both are in “good” company. /s

    From NPR:

  32. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    ===Rauner is excited, Rod and JB can finish up those conversations in person.===

    Oh, exactly, and Rauner can tell Trump supporters how wrong it was for Rod to be released, or Rauner can agree with Trump that Rod should be out and alienate another group of voters Rauner might need.

    Trump is more popular than Rauner here in Illinois and Trunp lost to Clinton by 16 points, so carry on.

  33. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:40 am:

    “So explain to me how Easterbrook ( a known hater of all politicians ) was picked to hear the appeals for George Ryan, Beavers, Blago, Vrodolyak and Schock ?

    Ah yes, the deep state of Illinois strikes again.

  34. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:43 am:

    Rod Blagoevich has served 6 years of a 14 year sentence.

    Governor Ryan served a 5 years sentence.

    How many Illinois residents believe Rod Blagoevich should serve sentence not quite 3 times longer than Governor Ryan?

    I think the majority would agree with the commutation as long as we don’t have to see Rod too much in the news.

  35. - Halsted - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    So he’s setting the precedent that profiting from political office is ok?

  36. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    –Blagojevich’s attorney, Len Goodman, says he plans to send his formal petition for a commutation of sentence to the President in the next few weeks.–

    A few weeks? Dude, do you think anyone’s going to read it? Do it today, strike now, while the iron’s hot. Trump can be rather mercurial.

  37. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    I do LP. But I think Ryan’s should have been longer as well. And please don’t expect me to think Rod’s not going quietly into retirement. He’ll be a Fox commentator/ Trump Cabinet member 5 seconds after he’s sprung.

  38. - Arsenal - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    ==Rauner is excited==

    Yup, sure, he’d just love to have his best piece of oppo crossways with his party’s standard-bearer.

  39. - Pieroge tirebiter - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:00 pm:

    If he is released can he start talking about “the tapes” and what was said to whom?

  40. - SAP - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    Trump already pardoned Joe Arpaio, springing Blagojevich is nothing compared to that.

  41. - flea - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:02 pm:

    If he commutes his sentence there will be an open slot for Trump to inhabit.

  42. - Amalia - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:17 pm:

    I do think that Blago should get out. (and Ryan should still be in.) I’m sad that Trump may do it. and the D’Souza PARDON is ridiculous.

  43. - Cocoa Dave - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    I fully support a commutation. Blago received a sentence greater than some murders receive. Free Rod! I sure hope he can now play all of the tapes for us.

  44. - TaylorvilleTornado - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:28 pm:

    Really draining the swamp with this move.

  45. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:32 pm:

    –Do it today, strike now–

    Given Trump’s M.O., an e-mail request or a 3×5 card should be sufficient. Just add “we’re prepared to provide a full brief with reasons at your request, but we both know you won’t read it so here.”

  46. - Duopoly (blocked maybe?) - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:33 pm:

    Early release worked well for Rauner & Blagojevich associate Bill Cellini. His health dramatically improved and I understand he’s back in business with the state.

  47. - Regular democrat - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    Im.sure rahm and jb are thrilled to have good old rod shooting off his mouth all summer.

  48. - ZC - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:41 pm:

    Apologies for the lengthy transcription but some folks might appreciate a trip down memory lane, what “practicing politics” apparently means to Trump.

    BLAGOJEVICH: And the other point, you know, all these promises of help. That’s all well and good but he’s had an experience with Jesse and Jesse promised to endorse him for governor and lied to him. Okay?


    BLAGOJEVICH: So, you know, we, if, if in fact there’s there’s, this is, you know, this is possible, then some of the stuff’s gotta start happening now.


    BLAGOJEVICH: Right now.


    BLAGOJEVICH: And we gotta see it.


    BLAGOJEVICH: You understand? Now you gotta be careful how you express that. And assume everybody’s listening, the whole world’s listening.


    BLAGOJEVICH: You hear me?

    ROBERT BLAGOJEVICH: Right, right, right.

    BLAGOJEVICH: But if there’s tangible political support like you’ve said, start showing us now.





    ROBERT BLAGOJEVICH: I’ll make that call, I’ll make that call this afternoon.

    BLAGOJEVICH: I would do it in person. I would not do it on the phone.

    ROBERT BLAGOJEVICH: Ah, okay, very good.

  49. - Streamwood Retiree - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 1:02 pm:

    First decent thing Trump’s done ever. IF he really does it. Trump’s more mercurial than an old-time thermometer.

  50. - ArchPundit - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 1:06 pm:

    ===I do LP. But I think Ryan’s should have been longer as well.

    Agreed. Both sold the voters for money. In Ryan’s case it was more pedestrian type of corruption, but it violated the public trust. Ryan did what was being done for years and didn’t realize the game had changed. It’s still wrong and he deserved more time.

    Blagojevich was an innovator though taking corruption to a new level. So a longer sentence is fair.

    Blagojevich is also really bad at being corrupt which might cause some feelings of a fellow traveler in Trump.

  51. - Stumpy's bunker - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 1:16 pm:

    Gosh, do you suppose the RNC & ILGOP are excited about the prospect of an ex-con Democrat former governor running around the state on a “rewrite history & professional victim” tour? I think so. The GOP will certainly need the waters muddied to have a chance for election success this next go-around.

  52. - SSL - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 1:21 pm:

    No Blago fan, but commute and set him free. I know we’ll see him on whatever clueless media channel that ponies up the most cash, and of course the inevitable book that he’ll write, but the sentence was too harsh.

    If nothing else he can entertain us with JB and Madigan stories all summer long.

  53. - Arsenal - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 1:34 pm:

    ==Gosh, do you suppose the RNC & ILGOP are excited about the prospect of an ex-con Democrat former governor running around the state on a “rewrite history & professional victim” tour?==

    Not sure, ’cause if a Republican President pardons him it gets in the way of the “JB is a Blago crony” message. But- you used the phrase “waters muddied”. You’re on to something with that one. It’s hard to see exactly how this would play out, but Rauner needs something to change right now.

  54. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 3:24 pm:

    “Strongly considering…”
    The louder the political panic over this, the greater the chance that the President will do this.

    The President would love watching ILDEM deal with their old leader loose from the pen. It will generate tons of free media over Rod’s past glories.

  55. - foster brooks - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 3:33 pm:

    trump will do it just to spite the DOJ, what a world we live in

  56. - ZC - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 4:04 pm:

    Never thought I’d see so many Republicans rooting for Rod Blagojevich in my lifetime.

  57. - Long time R - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 4:10 pm:

    Sentence was way way to long let him out. The man paid his dues and let him move on. Besides the fact it will be great banter with the election coming up.

  58. - 37B - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 4:11 pm:

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare Rod’s sentence to Ryan’s for the simple reason of their age differences. At sentencing Ryan was 72 while Rod was 55. Serving roughly 85% of their respective sentences would get Ryan out at (roughly) 79 and 1/2 while Rod would be about 66. Ryan may well have died in prison with Rod’s sentence while Rod would be out by now (age 61 and 1/2) with Ryan’s. Additionally, considering Rod irritated the sentencing judge and, oh yes, extorted a children’s hospital, I do not think the sentence was unfair.

  59. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:40 pm:

    I support commutation of Blagojevich’s sentence, because I’ve seen a killer get sentenced to far less time.

    As a political issue, Blagojevich seems so yesterday. It didn’t work when Rauner used him against Pritzker. We have much bigger issues with which to be concerned. Unless there is a bombshell out there–and this is in the context that Pritzker was not charged with anything–the attacks may just only galvanize those who will vote for Rauner anyway.

    Then, as others say, if Trump commutes Blago’s sentence, Rauner will be going against Trump.

  60. - Blago for Water Rec - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 7:16 pm:

    The consultancy of Blagojevich & Stroger LP will do very well.

  61. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 8:18 pm:

    “I’ve seen a killer get sentenced to far less time”

    This speaks more to a need for longer sentences for murderers than shorter for corruption. And, it is not like corruption is without consequences. They may be indirect, but millions extracted from taxpayers and/or childrens hospitals is millions that could have kept people healthy, safe, etc.

  62. - Re Al Itty Teevee - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 9:29 pm:

    Len Goodman…..isn’t he one of the judges on “Dancing With the Stars?”…

  63. - Graduated College Student - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:59 pm:

    ===I support commutation of Blagojevich’s sentence, because I’ve seen a killer get sentenced to far less time. ===

    Did that killer defraud and betray the public trust of more than 12 million Americans? Because that’s what Blagojevich did.

    Governors should be held to a higher standard. And pay a comeasurate price when they fail that standard.

  64. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 9:17 am:

    Trump/Pritzker vs Rauner/Blagojevich could be the greatest margin of victory down in southern Illinois for a democrat in years.

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