Local lawmakers react after Pres. Trump says he may pardon Blago - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Local lawmakers react after Pres. Trump says he may pardon Blagojevich

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WSIL-TV -- Illinois lawmakers react after President Donald Trump says he is considering commuting the sentence of Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Blagojevich is six years in to a 14-year prison sentence for a slew of public corruption charges, but he soon may be walking free.

Thursday President Trump told reporters on Air Force One he was considering commuting the ex-governor's sentence, saying he got an overly harsh punishment for what was essentially foolish statements.

But lawmakers here in Illinois say that's the wrong move.

In a recording from an FBI wiretap, Blagojevich is heard scheming to sell President Obama's former senate seat for either a political appointment or campaign contributions.

"I've got this thing and it's F-ing golden, and I'm just not giving it up for f-ing nothing," he said in the tape.

In 2009 the state legislature impeached Blagojevich and two years later he was convicted on 17 of 20 charges relating to pay for play schemes, and though five of those convictions were later thrown out, a federal judge upheld his 14 year sentence.

In a statement, Congressman Mike Bost, who was a member of the Illinois house when Blagojevich was impeached, said the former governor should stay put. 

He said, "I served on Illinois' House committee to impeach Governor Blagojevich. I believe that he received the sentence he deserved and have shared my concerns with the administration."

Representative Terri Bryant, who worked for the Department of Corrections during the Blagojevich administration says she hopes to see the former governor serve out the rest of his term.

"I hope the president looks at this and says we need to send a real strong message to people, that you can not hold the high office that many of us are elected to and behave the way that Rod Blagojevich behaved and think that it's okay," Bryant said.

Bryant says she's so concerned that President Trump will commute Blagojevich's sentence she's actually going to write him a letter asking him to reconsider.
 

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