There’s probably not a happier man in America than former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.
Behind bars for the past eight years, Blagojevich was serving 14 years in a Colorado prison when President Donald Trump intervened Tuesday to commute his sentence, and the Democrat found himself walking as a free man before the day came to a close.
“He’s got, obviously, a big fan in me,” Blagojevich said of the president while talking with reporters. “And if you’re asking what my party affiliation is, I’m a Trumpocrat.”
“I want to express my most profound and everlasting gratitude to President Trump,” Blagojevich added.
“He didn’t have to do this,” he said. “He’s a Republican president, I was a Democratic governor. My fellow Democrats have not been very kind to him. They have in fact been very unkind to him.”
Blagojevich was convicted in 2011 on 18 counts, to include trying to sell the Senate seat that Barack Obama held before being elected president.
A wiretap captured the politician saying, “I’ve got this thing and it’s f*cking golden. And I’m just not giving it up for f*cking nothing.”
Remarkably, Blagojevich told reporters he had no inkling that this was coming and said he heard the good news from fellow inmates who were watching television.
“Other inmates came and told me they saw it being reported on the news,” he said, referencing remarks the president made at Joint Base Andrews.
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) February 19, 2020
Speaking to reporters there, Trump confirmed that he had intervened.
“Yes, we have commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich,” he said. “He served eight years in jail, that’s a long time.
“I watched his wife on television,” the president said. “I don’t know him very well. I’ve met him a couple of times. He was on for a short while on ‘The Apprentice’ years ago, seemed like a very nice person. Don’t know him. He served eight years in jail, there’s a long time to go.
Trump noted that “it was a prosecution by the same people, Comey, Fitzpatrick, the same group.”
This being a reference to former FBI director James Comey, who was involved in the effort to investigate Trump in the Russian collusion hoax, and Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney in Chicago who prosecuted Mr. Blagojevich.
“Very far from his children,” Trump continued. “They are growing older, they’re going to high school now, they rarely get to see their father outside of an orange uniform, I saw that and I did commute his sentence. So he will be able to go back home with his family after serving eight years in jail. That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence in my opinion. And in the opinions of many others.”
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