'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."