Tireless fighter of corruption, Donald Trump, commutes sentence of politician found guilty of attempting to sell a U.S. Senate seat

Back during Trump’s impeachment trial, the Republicans made the case that the President was a “corruption fighter.” That, they told us, was why he’d put the screws to the administration of Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine, in hopes of getting his administration to announce an investigation into Joe Biden. Well, today, Donald Trump, the anti-corruption champion, commuted the sentences of several white, male convicted criminals, including former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was found guilty in 2010 on 11 counts related to the attempted sale of Barack Obama’s former Senate seat, and 6 counts of shaking people down for bribes.

The Feds had Blagojevich on tape saying of the Senate seat, which was his to fill as Governor once Obama was elected president, “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden… I’m not just giving it up for fucking nothing.” And he was found guilty by a jury of his peers, and sentenced to 14 years in prison. But, before the sentencing, he made what would turn out to be an incredibly fortuitous decision. He decided to appear as a contestant on Donald Trump’s “reality” television program, Celebrity Apprentice. And, today, Donald Trump chose to let Blagojevich go, over the advice of every House Republican from the Illinois delegation… Here’s Donald Trump, after saying that he didn’t really know Blagojevich, and chose to let him go because he ‘saw his wife on television,’ implying that his was a wrongful prosecution because James Comey was at the FBI at the time. [fact check: Comey was not at the FBI at the time. He was in the private sector from 2003 to 2013.]

There is a little silver lining, though. As Marcy Wheeler pointed out earlier, “The nice thing about Trump freeing every corrupt person ever mentioned on Fox News is now the GOP will have to stop pretending Trump gives a flying fuck about corruption.”

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12 Comments

  1. John Brown
    Posted February 19, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    You left out that he claimed to be the “chief law enforcement officer in the US” which is a lie as usual, and given that its being uttered by the President, is clearly a violation of the Constitution and his oath. He’s a ruskie stooge traitor who deserves a firing squad and his supporters are garbage unAmericans who have no limits. Prepare to respond accordingly.

  2. Max
    Posted February 19, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I’ve got to imagine there are a lot of his supporters in Illinois trying real hard to rationalize this decision.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted February 19, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Rod Blagojevich: “He’s [Pres. Trump] got a obviously a big fan in me. If you’re asking what my party affiliation is… I’m a Trumpocrat.”

    https://twitter.com/HaleighHoffman/status/1229972053278777346?s=20

  4. Meta
    Posted February 19, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Washington Post: “Republicans have unleashed an ethical monster”

    The Republican Party, we have noted, has gone from a conservative party to an authoritarian one. With a total of 11 pardons and commutations of rich, corrupt and utterly undeserving men, President Trump has completed the transition from the law-and-order party to the crime-mob party…

    While appearing on television (Trump’s connection to the outside world — or, rather, the outside world that the right-wing media would like to exist) was a popular means of getting Trump’s attention, it was no surprise that some of the beneficiaries seemed to have ponied up money to elect Trump…

    Trump, the corrupt and entitled white male who perceives himself as the perpetual victim, must feel a connection to other privileged, corrupt figures. If they are victims of a rigged or unfair system, he must be, too. (One can now fully appreciate how ludicrous was the defense in the impeachment trial that Trump was motivated by a heartfelt desire to root out corruption. Republicans who parroted this nonsense should be voted out of office.)

    Worse still, there is widespread suspicion that this is simply a prelude to pardons for cronies Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and others. Trump wants vindication and secrecy, so what better way than to direct senators not to hear evidence of his own misdeeds, delegitimize the convictions of his associates and then, by pardon, obtain their silence and gratitude?

    Mimi Rocah, a former prosecutor, tells me: “The pardon power is supposed to be about correcting injustices. There is no reasonable argument that the people pardoned today — all of whom corrupted our financial and political systems in massive ways — were subject to a miscarriage of justice.” She adds, “To the contrary, they are powerful, connected white men who had the benefit of good defense lawyers. It also sends a message to Stone, Giuliani, Manafort and Flynn — that Trump has their back because white collar crime doesn’t count.”

    Do his supporters even care that the swamp he promised to drain is more fetid than ever? Are Republicans who emboldened him with an acquittal in his impeachment trial just a tad embarrassed by the normalization, the celebration even, of corruption? Probably not. They have long since discarded any semblance of concern for the rule of law, let alone for decency and propriety.

    Read more:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/19/republicans-unleashed-an-ethical-monster/

  5. Posted February 19, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    “Chief law enforcement officer in the US.”

    Yeah, I saw that this morning, after the post was already up. He doesn’t have a clue as to how our country works, and he doesn’t care. It’s so unbelievably sad…. in addition to being dangerous.

  6. iRobert
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I noticed that FF, EOS and HW haven’t commented on this thread. Gee, I wonder why.

  7. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    It was a weird stand alone move imo, iRobert. I wonder if Trump is going to use Blagojevich as the head of a program that has the mission of releasing massive amounts of non-violent prisoners.

  8. iRobert
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    You don’t need to wonder. I promise you, he won’t.

    Trump released corrupt officials and businessmen, like himself.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    It’s kind of amusing that FF holds on to this idea of Trump as a reformer facing unjust persecution instead of a self-dealing, populist manipulator of the great desires and hopes of the people.

    I believe he pardoned Blagojevic in order to bulk up his false corruption narrative against Comey et al. I believe he exchanged the pardon for Dem Blagojevic’s support in hopes it would help himself politically with Dems in the midwest. (And it seems to have worked because that Trumpocrat thing went viral.– no thanks to the many Dems who shared in horror) I don’t think Trump gives a shit about Blagojevic or what he did or didn’t do or has any larger plans than preserving his own reputation and getting re-elected..

  10. Sad
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    https://www.nbcchicago.com/top-videos-home/flashback-watch-trump-fire-blagojevich-on-the-celebrity-apprentice/2221318/

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, Michael Millican and ex-NY police chief Bernard Klerk too. That covers 5 decades of rampant corruption– On the part of those Trump pardoned.

    Rudi wanted Klerk freed. Read this: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/18/nyregion/bernard-kerik-pardon.html?searchResultPosition=1

  12. iRobert
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Trump is now shutting down the investigations into Putin’s interference in the US election. Maybe FF can tell us how it may be in preparation for some greater good.

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