Patti Blagojevich hopeful after Trump says he may commute Rod Blagojevich's sentence

Friday, June 1, 2018
Patti Blagojevich hopeful after Trump comments on commuting sentence
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After exhausting her legal options, but never ceasing her work to get her husband released from prison early, Patti Blagojevich expressed cautious optimism Thursday when news that

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After exhausting her legal options, but never ceasing her work to get her husband released from prison early, Patti Blagojevich expressed cautious optimism Thursday when news that President Donald Trump was considering commuting his sentence broke.

The Blagojevich's northwest side home was quiet, and Patti chose to issue a written statement only, in which she wrote, "From the beginning, we've eagerly awaited the day when Rod could come back home where he belongs, and we continue to pray our family will be made whole again soon."

She said Trump had given her family hope.

After exhausting all legal channels, Patti has spent the past few months taking a page out of her husband's playbook and going on national television

Knowing Trump watches Fox, Patti has made several appearances on the network to plead her case, and now her efforts may pay off.

Maya Moody was a juror in the Blagojevich trial, and said she also believes his sentence was too long.

"I thought that the 14 year sentence was kind of lengthy, so I'm always just a little in his corner every time he tries to appeal," she said.

Pamela Davis feels differently. Now retired, the former hospital CEO wore a wire for the FBI to help uncover a kickback scheme that eventually led to his conviction.

"He obviously was a very inappropriate government official, and I think the sentence should last and stand," she said.

"I feel sorry for his wife and kids, but unfortunately he tried to pay with politics there and he thought he could get away with it," said Tom McNichols, who is against commuting his sentence.

"He did the crime, he needs to do the time, it is no different than anyone else," said Kyra Robinson, against commuting his sentence.

Others said while they're no fan of Trump, they believe Blagojevich's 14 year sentence was excessive.

"I believe Rod probably got unjust punishment, it was a little too long," said Craig Berger, who supports commuting the sentence.

Trump made his comments as he discussed his decision to pardon someone else. Some questioned the president's motives.

"I think Trump is paying way too much attention to giving people pardons instead of running the country," said Rita Berger.


There was mixed reaction from Illinois state lawmakers to the news President Donald Trump was considering commuting former governor Rod Blagojevich's sentence, including from lawmakers who participated in his impeachment proceedings.

Some thought Trump would be making a mistake, while others were sympathetic and thought it was a good idea.

Blagojevich ran out of legal options when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his latest appeal, and has now served nearly half of the 14 year sentence he was given after his corruption conviction.

"I was very happy for Blagojevich's family as soon as I heard about it," said State Rep. Mary Flowers (31st District). "The first somebody I thought about was his children, because I remember the tears that they've shed."

"Today my daughter graduates from 8th Grade and Blagojevich missed a lot of graduations, and a lot of time away from his family, and I think he's served enough time," said State Rep. LaShawn Ford (8th District).

But while there are some sympathetic voices, some lawmakers who worked with or butted heads with Blagojevich during his time as governor think the president would be making a mistake.

"I think it will make Trump extremely unpopular in the state of Illinois," said State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (25th District). "I don't think there's a lot of love lost between the citizens of Illinois and the former governor, Blagojevich."

Blagojevich's legal team will be filing his formal appeal for a pardon or commutation next week, hoping the president's pardon-friendly move will work in his favor.

"The president says a lot of things and changes his mind, so seeing is believing, but I do believe that the sentence was severe," said State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (12th District).

"He did a lot of talking, he didn't actually do anything, so yes, I believe six years is long enough," said State Senator Emil Jones III.