WASHINGTON, D.C. — Illinois politicians are speaking out after President Donald Trump said he is “very strongly” considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The former governor is serving a 14-year prison term for multiple federal corruption convictions and has been in federal prison since 2012.
Congressmen Darin LaHood (Ill.-18), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.-16), Rodney Davis (Ill.-13), John Shimkus (Ill.-15), and Mike Bost (Ill.-12) released the following statement regarding Trump’s statements:
“It’s important that we take a strong stand against pay-to-play politics, especially in Illinois where four of our last eight Governors have gone to federal prison for public corruption. Commuting the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, who has a clear and documented record of egregious corruption, sets a dangerous precedent and goes against the trust voters place in elected officials. We stand by our letter and urge the President to not commute Rod Blagojevich’s sentence.”Congressmen LaHood, Kinzinger, Davis, Shimkus and Bost
In June of 2018, the entire Illinois Republican U.S. House delegation sent a letter to Trump opposing the commutation of Blagojevich’s sentence. You can read that letter here.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was in Peoria Thursday and also reacted to the news.
“The people who are involved in law enforcement, prosecution, and defense, tell me the 14 year sentence was extraordinarily harsh when you compare it to other sentences that are handed down,” Durbin said. “I have felt that it should be looked at. […] The president […] has the power to make that decision.”
The Republican president told reporters Wednesday he thought Blagojevich, a Democrat, had been treated “unbelievably unfairly.”