* We talked about this yesterday…
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it will not hear former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s appeal, marking the end of a decadelong legal road and virtually guaranteeing he will remain in prison until 2024 barring a presidential pardon or commutation.
A Monday statement from Patti Blagojevich says she understands “the judiciary” is “no longer an option” for winning her 61-year-old husband’s release. […]
With legal avenues closed, Blagojevich’s wife says they’ll have to put their “faith elsewhere and find another way.”
* ABC 7…
Following the Supreme Court decision, Mrs. Blagojevich early Monday declined interview requests. A spokesperson for a public relations firm retained by the Blagojevich family asked that news organizations “respect her privacy.” Then on Monday night, she showed up live on a Fox News national show to lobby President Trump, a regular Fox viewer, for her husband’s freedom.
Patti Blagojevich took to Fox News — the president’s favorite TV channel — on Monday night to express her disappointment in the ruling.
But she sidestepped the chance to make a direct appeal to Trump when host Tucker Carlson asked her to make her “pitch” for a presidential pardon.
“We were so disappointed today that the Supreme did not decide to take up our case and end this very dangerous conflict in we have now in the law,” Patti Blagojevich said.
“This is dangerous because it allows the FBI and power-hungry, overzealous prosecutors like [former Chicago U.S. Attorney] Patrick Fitzgerald to go after anyone that they don’t like. just because that person might be unpopular or controversial.”
In some ways, this couldn’t be better timing for the Blagojeviches to tap into Trump’s fury with the FBI and federal prosecutors. Patti Blagojevich’s words on FOX came on the same day Trump attorney Michael Cohen appeared in court and just as former FBI Director James Comey embarks on a media blitz blasting Trump as morally corrupt. Trump knows the former governor, having had Blagojevich as a guest on “Celebrity Apprentice” before the 2010 federal trial.
While on FOX, Mrs. Blagojevich took great care to make clear that the U.S. Attorney in her husband’s case, Patrick Fitzgerald, was the same person who prosecuted I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Fitzgerald was appointed special prosecutor in the leak case that resulted in Libby’s conviction. Trump pardoned Libby on Friday. “This is so dangerous because it allows the FBI and power-hungry, overzealous prosecutors like Patrick Fitzgerald who prosecuted both my husband and Scooter Libby to go after anyone that they don’t like just because they’re unpopular or controversial,” Mrs. Blagojevich said. As a side note, Patti Blagojevich also gave an interview to Larry Yellen at the local FOX32 station. Yellen said his interview took place before she appeared on Carlson’s show.
* CBS 2…
If the president wishes to help Blagojevich, he has two options for clemency.
“[Trump] can pardon [Blagojevich], which means the case is over, he gets out of jail. It doesn’t mean he’s innocent, but the case is over. Or he could commute the sentence,” CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller said.
By commuting the sentence, Trump could allow Blagojevich to go free sooner than his scheduled 2024 release date.
Blagojevich is no stranger to Trump. While awaiting his corruption trial, Blagojevich was a contestant on Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice reality show.
…Adding… Sun-Times editorial…
Pardoning Libby was Trump’s way of emphasizing his disdain for the current Russian-collusion investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller. It also was his way, we suspect, of signaling to former aides and allies targeted by Mueller, such as his attorney Michael Cohen, that he’s ready to bail them out if they refuse to flip.
Trump is utterly transactional. He gives only to get.
And we can’t see what Blagojevich has got to trade.