After the Supreme Court refused to hear former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's case in mid-April, the Blagojevich strategy changed to some of President Donald Trump’s more preferred venues, and it seems to be working.
On Thursday, the president said he's considering commuting Blagojevich's sentence. The former governor was convicted of corruption.
First on Fox, then this week in the Wall Street Journal, the Blagojevich strategy clearly was meant to appeal to one man: President Trump.
In an op-ed in the Journal titled “I’m in prison for practicing politics,” Blagojevich even used some of the president`s favorite themes.
He wrote: “When they can’t prove a crime, they create one,” and, “Politically motivated prosecutors can now interfere with and undo free and fair elections.”
“This is clearly a PR effort by the governor and his wife to strike a nerve with President Trump,” John Chase, with the Better Government Association, said.
The Blagojevichs have also pointed out that President Trump pardoned Scooter Libby, saying the former aide to Dick Cheney had been treated unfairly.
Former U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald prosecuted both Libby and Blagojevich.
As for the length of Blagojevich’s prison sentence, many legal experts agree it was harsh.
But keep in mind how Blagojevich came into office.
“I believe Illinois can once again be the land of opportunity but only if we’re willing to shake up a system in Springfield that accepts corruption, mediocrity and failure. I know we can do better,” the former governor said in 2001.
He campaigned as a reformer vowing to clear the cloud that hung over his predecessor George Ryan.
Ryan received a six-and-a-half year prison sentence. Blagojevich got 14 years.
Prosecutors said he failed to learn any lessons from the previous governor’s corruption conviction and called Blagojevich’s efforts to sell former President Barack Obama’s senate seat and shake down a hospital CEO, crimes that would make Lincoln “roll over in his grave.”
“Rod Blagojevich came is an alleged reformer who was going in amid the scandal of George Ryan and he did as bad or worse at corruption. Because of that Judge Zagel came down hard on Blagojevich,” Chase said.
While wife Patti Blagojevich has declined all interviews and asked reporters to respect her privacy, she agreed to once again appear on Fox News Channel Thursday evening.