AP reports on an Illinois political corruption story with a Colorado klink:
President Donald Trump has sent his clearest signal yet that he may be about to sign commutation papers freeing former Illinois governor and one-time “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant Rod Blagojevich from federal prison in Colorado.
The 62-year-old Democrat, who was once best known and the butt of jokes for his thick, meticulously coiffed hair, is seven years into a lengthy sentence for extortion, bribery and other wide-ranging political corruption.
“I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One this week about Blagojevich. He added: “I’m thinking about commuting his sentence very strongly.”
Blagojevich’s current release date is May of 2024. Since reporting to federal custody, “Blago” has been cooling his heels at FCI Englewood just south of Hampden and Kipling in suburban Jefferson County–by all accounts one of the less-unpleasant low-security facilities in the federal prison system.
Apparently President Donald Trump doesn’t really understand the details of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s case, and has a lot of details wrong that just happen to err in favor of Blagojevich. The real qualification for consideration seems to be Trump knowing Blagojevich from Blago’s appearances on Celebrity Apprentice (hint: Trump fired him).
Speaking to reporters Wednesday night, Trump said Blagojevich was behind bars “over a phone call where nothing happens.” He added Blagojevich “shouldn’t have said what he said, but it was braggadocio.”
Sort of like hoping the Russians hack a fellow American’s emails! In all seriousness, though, Trump’s quid-pro-quo management style probably makes it entirely likely that he engaged in the same kind of “braggadocio” with any number of his own Cabinet and other appointments–just maybe not into a tapped phone line (that we know of yet). Also, Blago made a habit of trading appointments and vetoes for ways to beat the high cost of living–much more than one single incident.
Would Trump pardoning Rod Blagojevich be justice, or hopeful precedent for Trump?
And they still give released prisoners a bus ticket home, right?