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Illinois Republican congressmen ask Trump to oppose clemency for Blagojevich

Monday, Jun 11, 2018

* Press release…

Letter Signed by Every House Republican from Illinois

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Darin LaHood sent a letter to President Trump arguing against a pardon and/or a commutation for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Rep. LaHood, a former Assistant United States Attorney with the US Department of Justice, led the letter with the support of every Illinois Republican member of Congress, laying out the many public corruption crimes and the illegal activity committed by the governor during his administration and the need to stand strong against pay-to-play politics in Illinois and across the country. Congressman LaHood and every Illinois Republican in Congress believe that pardoning such a clearly corrupt politician would set a dangerous precedent and send the wrong message regarding elected officials who violate the public trust.

The letter states:
While we understand that, as president, you have the privilege and right under our Constitution to grant pardons and clemency as you determine fit, we ask that you consider very carefully the precedent this may set and the impact it will have on acts of public corruption in the future. As you well know, the integrity of our democracy and the core of American values depend on our elected officials being honest in upholding the trust given to them by the American people. Granting clemency to Rod Blagojevich would go against this trust.

The full letter is here. It makes some very good points, including the fact that President Trump’s own Solicitor General asked the US Supreme Court not to take up Blagojevich’s last appeal, calling it “unwarranted.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    Surprised they didn’t try to get a few Illinois Democrats to sign. I’m sure there is bipartisan support for this letter among the Illinois delegation.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 2:55 pm:

    I’m not a congressman, Blago should be commuted, and still be a felon, and still have the conviction and the shame of the conviction stand.

    The reality is… Republicans, electeds in Illinois, can’t have a POTUS pardon Blago, and if a certain sitting governor in Illinois wants to go after POTUS for commuting, than that governor could (we don’t know how POTUS will react to stale Cheerios, let alone… ) face a barrage of tweets and remarks that will signal to Trumpkins in Illinois where that governor’s place in the Trump Party (nationally) exists.

    The congressmen, they already know to distance themselves where they can, but embrace the policies, publicly, where they must too.

    It should scare Illinois Republicans to let Rod out, even if commuting might be a solution.

    To clarify…

    I do feel Rod’s actions before, during, and after the trial(s) and convictions warrant the sentence, and the sentence meets every guideline for the crimes and the convictions.

    My feeling on the commuting? Given POTUS’ rationale for his other pardons, a pardon to Rod “makes sense” in a warped way to right a sentence… Rod earned.

  3. - Anon E. Moose - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    Rep. LaHood should mention that his dad served in the Obama Administration, so Trump can completely ignore his advice. Also, given Trump’s contempt for the Justice Dept., I doubt that he will put any stock in the Solicitor General’s opinion.

  4. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 3:04 pm:

    This isn’t going to sway him. They need to find a celebrity endorser, preferably one that was a reality TV star.

  5. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 3:19 pm:

    As a republican not Raunerite let Blagoevich go. Commute his sentence he still has a felony rap. He is and will be forever a convicted felon. He is a jerk but not worth a 14 year sentence. If sentences are to deter getting hit with 14 years is a deterrence and sentencing is also to protect public from repeat offenders. I doubt Blagoevich will ever be in a position to re offend

  6. - Just saying - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    That letter is way too long for Trump to read.

  7. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 3:37 pm:

    If Trump ever sees that on paper, he’s just gonna tear it up and some poor WH staffer is gonna have to tape it back together.

  8. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 3:40 pm:

    If they could get Kim Kardashian to draft a letter of opposition they might have a better chance.

  9. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 3:48 pm:

    Agree 100% with OW. Let him go, time served, but the felony remains.

  10. - Steve Rogers - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 4:03 pm:

    Footnotes?? If you’re trying to get through to the president, that ain’t the way to do it. Demoralized is right, send Kim Kardashian or Roseanne. Or, the best bet would be to tell Sean Hannity. But footnotes?? Come on.

  11. - Flyer - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 4:21 pm:

    Expecting Trump to read that letter is like expecting General Assembly members to read all the bills they vote on.

  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 4:53 pm:

    –As you well know, the integrity of our democracy and the core of American values depend on our elected officials being honest in upholding the trust given to them by the American people.–

    They sent that to Trump?

    Is that a gag?

  13. - Baker's Dozen - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 4:57 pm:

    The Republicans have to go on record as being against commutation — politically it’s suicide for them to support it, and philosophically they probably genuinely believe he belongs in prison. But from a purely practical standpoint, wouldn’t it actually be potentially a short-term advantage to have Rod Blagojevich around Illinois this summer and fall? He’s a huge millstone politically and could suck up a lot of airspace, which would not generally be to the benefit of Democratic candidates. It might not be enough to change anything, but when you’re not leading in the polls (and the Republicans aren’t) the idea of a wild card that potentially damages the Democrats has to hold at least some appeal.

  14. - blue dog dem - Monday, Jun 11, 18 @ 8:28 pm:

    Free Blago.

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