* From January of 2017…
Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday that incarcerated former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year prison sentence was excessive.
“I think 14 years was an outrageously long sentence. I’ll be honest with you,” Durbin told WGN Radio. “I think it should’ve been a shorter sentence.”
* So, today’s comment should probably come as no surprise…
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on Monday that he would support reducing the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I think that the sentence imposed on Rod Blagojevich was definitely way too long. Fourteen years, it didn’t make sense,” Durbin said at a Chicago press conference.
“And so I’m not commenting on whether he was culpable of guilt. That was decided by the courts, but I thought the sentence was outrageous, and if there’s a way to reduce the sentence for him and his family, I would support it,” Durbin added.
Durbin’s comments come after President Trump said last week that he is considering reducing Blagojevich’s sentence.
Trump told reporters Thursday on Air Force One that he thought the former governor’s prison sentence was overly harsh for what he described as “a foolish statement.” The president made the comments about Blagojevich while discussing his plans to pardon conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza.
“I’ll tell you another one … there’s another one that I’m thinking about. Rod Blagojevich,” Trump said, according to a pool report. “Eighteen (sic) years in jail for being stupid and saying things that every other politician, you know that many other politicians say.”
“And if you look at what he said, he said something to the effect like, ‘What do I get?’ … Stupid thing to say. But he’s sort of saying … he’s gonna make a U.S. senator, which is a very big deal,” Trump said. “If you read his statement, it was a foolish statement. There was a lot of bravado. … Plenty of other politicians have said a lot worse. He shouldn’t have been put in jail.”
Trump also referred to Blagojevich’s stint on his reality show, “The Celebrity Apprentice,” but downplayed any relationship between them, saying, “I don’t know him other than that he was on (the show) for a short period of time.”
As we’ve discussed many times before, Blagojevich didn’t just try to trade the US Senate appointment. He also held up state money for children’s healthcare until he got a large campaign contribution from a hospital executive.
It’s not the first time Durbin offered his support for a commutation of a former Illinois governor’s prison sentence. In 2008 he urged then President George W. Bush to commute the sentence of George Ryan, who was serving a six and half year sentence on corruption charges. Bush never acted on the request. […]
Blagojevich, 61, is not due out of prison until May 2024. Though an appellate court tossed five of his convictions in 2015, federal prosecutors say he remains convicted “of the same three charged shakedowns” for which he was first sentenced in 2011.
Those include his attempt to sell then-President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, to shake down the CEO of Children’s Memorial Hospital for $25,000 in campaign contributions, and to hold up a bill to benefit the racetrack industry for $100,000 in campaign contributions.
A jury also convicted Blagojevich of lying to the FBI.