The New York Times reports:
President Trump said on Wednesday night that he was “strongly considering” commuting the 14-year prison sentence of Rod R. Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor who was convicted of trying to essentially sell President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat for personal gain.
In remarks aboard Air Force One, Mr. Trump described the incriminating phone call in which Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat, was taped discussing selling the seat as mostly a minor offense and something “many” politicians have done.
The president noted: “He’s been in jail for seven years over a phone call where nothing happens — over a phone call which he shouldn’t have said what he said, but it was braggadocio you would say. 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.”
The real story here is that Blagojevich’s case was worked on by James Comey and Robert Mueller. The Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Blagojevich last year.
“The move is likely to face steep blowback, since Mr. Blagojevich’s crime has long been seen as the epitome of the kind of pay-to-play that Mr. Trump has claimed he wanted to stop when he took office.” https://t.co/bf0DdiyLIJ
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 8, 2019
Trump tells reporters on AF1 he is considering giving disgraced and imprisoned former IL Gov Rod Blagojevich a pardon and commutation for federal corruption conviction. Blago, a “you’re fired” Apprentice guest, tried to extort children’s hospital and sell Obama’s senate seat.
— Rick Pearson (@rap30) August 8, 2019
Here’s the transcript of Trump’s remarks on a commutation for Blagojevich. He pointedly noted that “the Comey gang,” “sleazebags,” put Blagojevich behind bars. (Mueller was FBI director, Comey friend and legal-team member Patrick Fitzgerald was prosecutor, Comey was deputy AG.) pic.twitter.com/sGbvR0lwP3
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 8, 2019