Blagojevich Maintains His Innocence After Trump Commutation

A voter puts a ballot into a ballot box

Possibly. It would certainly take some of the wind out of the sails of those who would claim he was acting on purely partisan instincts given that Blagojevich is a Democrat.

"That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others", he said.

Trump's tweet also alluded to Blagojevich's convictions for seeking to exchange an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by then President-elect Barack Obama for campaign contributions. The state's current governor, J.B. Pritzker, said setting Blagojevich free was a mistake. He was given one year for each of the counts of extortion that he was convicted for.

Republican Grundy County State's Attorney Jason Helland was angry about the decision, saying that the person in the best position to decide Blagojevich's punishment was the judge who handed down the 14 year sentence.

"This is what a broken and racist criminal justice system looks like", added Sanders, who is running on a platform that includessweeping reformsto the criminal justice system.

Blagojevich was famously caught on tape bragging that President Obama's then-vacant Senate seat was a "f--ing golden" thing. Hogan Gidley said that the president is "clearly against excessive sentencing". "I would think that there have been many politicians - I'm not one of them, by the way - that have said a lot worse over the telephone".

In 2011, Blagojevich was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Welter said "more than ever" IL citizens need to see accountability of government officials. "My fellow Democrats have not been very kind to him".

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Mr Trump also pardoned former NY police commissioner Bernie Kerik, who served just over three years for tax fraud and lying to the White House while being interviewed to serve as homeland security secretary. One of those people supporting Blagojevich was his late grandmother.

When asked what he would say to Trump, the ex-governor replied, "I say thank you". "Even she thought he got a raw deal".

"Kim made a difference going to the White House fighting for me, so if I can fight for something I definitely wasn't going to turn that opportunity down", Johnson said.

The commutation for Blajoveich was issued as part of a sweeping round of pardons and commutations announced by the president.

"We believe he received an appropriate and fair sentence, which was the low-end of the federal sentencing guidelines for the gravity of his public corruption convictions", the statement read.

Blagojevich campaigned on a promise to clean-up corruption in IL following the licenses-for-bribes scandal. "If I had the ability to vote, I would vote for him". He had been serving his prison time at a federal prison in Engelwood, Colorado, since 2012, and was released Tuesday evening, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Blagojevich, a one-time contestant on Trump's reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice", has been radioactive politically since his arrest as governor in 2008. Trump fired Comey in 2017.

"That if I were to give in to the pressure and give in to the shakedown that was done to me, that I would be violating my oath of office to fight for the Constitution and fight for the rule of law and keep my promises to [the public]", he said.

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