alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

'Pardoning Blagojevich Would Be Stupid': GOP Pushes Back on Trump's Idea to Free the Corrupt Governor

As President Donald Trump enjoys the thrills of wielding his constitutional pardon power, some members of his own party are warning him to not go too far.


But they're not warning him against pardoning Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, or even himself — they're warning him against pardoning former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. 

Blagojevich is serving a 14-year sentence after he was sentenced on multiple charges of political corruption, including the allegation that he was attempting to sell President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat after the 2008 election. The governor became a national disgrace after the conviction, known for the colorful language he used on private recordings related to the charges.

GOP lawmakers from Illinois are unsurprisingly concerned, then, about Trump's recent suggestion that he might pardon Blagojevich, as CNN reported.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger told the network: "I'm not going to talk about his thinking, but I think pardoning Blagojevich would be stupid."

CNN also reports that multiple other Republicans said both on and off the record that they are urging Trump not to issue the pardon.

"I would stress to the administration in the strongest possible terms that pardoning or commuting the sentence of Rod Blagojevich would be a mistake," Illinois' Rep. Darin LaHood told CNN. "It would send the absolute wrong message that the behavior that was engaged in by Rod Blagojevich somehow is acceptable or forgivable."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close