CHICAGO — Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is marking one year since his commutation.
Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office after being convicted in 2011. He had been found guilty of crimes that included seeking to sell an appointment to former President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat and trying to shake down a children’s hospital.
The former governor served eight years of a 14-year prison sentence. His sentence was commuted by former President Donald Trump who at the time called his sentenced “ridiculous.”
Blagojevich said he has no remorse over his actions.
“I didn’t break a single law or cross a single line,” he said. “It was all politics…I have a great amount of regret, and I would have let the people down if I gave into the pressure these people put on me to say what they wanted me to say. I wouldn’t do it.”
He said he condemned the riots at the Capitol but said he will always be grateful to the former president for reuniting him with is wife and children.
“I’m still a Trumpocrat,” he said. “Who would have though a Republican president would have reached out to me — a Democratic governor….here I am today because of him.”
Blagojevich has criticized other Illinois politicians in his “Lightning Rod” podcast including House Speaker Mike Madigan.
“There’s a reason Illinois is the highest taxed state in the nation,” he said. “…Most of it has to do with the leadership of Mike Madigan in Springfield.”
He said he doesn’t want to see him charged or go to prison. He said he does not trust the justice system after what happened to him.