Blago Is Free
On Tuesday, February 18, President Trump with excellent judgment commuted the fourteen-year prison sentence of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, a.k.a. “Blago.”
“We have commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich,” Trump said. “He’ll be able to go back home with his family after serving eight years in jail. That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence in my opinion. And in the opinion of many others.”
The president thus brought to an end a disgraceful episode in American politics. After Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, his seat as senator from Illinois became vacant. Blago was charged with trying to sell the seat.
If in fact Blago tried to sell the seat, he was just practicing the dirty, rotten business of politics in the normal crooked fashion for Chicago and America. But out of all the corrupt pols, why did a federal prosecutor target a sitting governor, wiretap him, not allow him to use the wiretaps to defend himself, and send him to jail for fourteen years? His real “crime,” in the eyes of the monstrous Obama and his henchman Rahm Emmanuel, was that he refused to appoint the man Obama had picked as his successor.
The indictment against Blago was unconstitutional. As the distinguished historian and authority on the Constitution Kevin Gutzman pointed out in an article written for LRC on January 6, 2009,
Interestingly, one might note that the statute Fitzgerald is enforcing against the governor bases Congress’s claim of power to criminalize corruption in state office on the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. One really wonders at the idea that conspiring to sell Jesse Jackson, Jr. a Senate seat is interstate commerce. No one takes this idea seriously; rather, it is based on a common lawyer’s corruption—yes, corruption—of language. On simple federal arrogation of state power. This corruption has far more far-reaching consequences than anything Blagojevich is accused of having done.
The indictment and trial were gross miscarriages of justice, as President Trump has said. Harvey Silverglate in an article written in 2011 gave the best analysis of the whole rotten business:
The most controversial charge Blagojevich faced was that he planned to sell Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. But Fitzgerald decided to come out swinging, terminated the wiretaps on Blagojevich’s home and office, arrested the then-sitting governor, held a sensational press conference, and called it a wrap before this alleged sale would have even taken place. Fitzgerald was obviously unwilling to wait out the unfolding situation to see if the governor was really serious about “selling” the seat to the highest bidder.
Had Blagojevich actually followed through with the sale of a Senate seat, Fitzgerald’s heavy-handed prosecutorial approach might have been justified. But in light of the fact that no seat was sold, and that these appointments are regularly used for political benefit, the reasonable doubt that a crime was actually committed would appear to be overwhelming. For a US Attorney who is known for “crossing his T’s and dotting his I’s,” you have to wonder why Fitzgerald didn’t spring into action after the sale of the seat, once the dirty deal was done. Blagojevich’s own writing may give us a clue. Blagojevich claims in his memoir "The Governor," [sic] that the goal of the Senate appointment was to get a political opponent out of the way, not to sell the seat for cash. If this scenario is to be believed, then Fitzgerald went forward with the case when he did because, had he waited until after the seat was filled, there would not have been a case since the seat would have been awarded not for cash, but for quite traditional political advantage.
One of the most shocking, and seemingly damning, sound bites that came from the wiretaps was Blagojevich’s assertion that Obama’s Senate seat was “a [expletive] valuable thing. You don’t just give it away for nothing.” A U.S. Attorney whose last few cases ended unfavorably might be interested in spinning this quote to seem as though a cash transaction was being arranged in exchange for the Senate seat. However, if Blagojevich were looking to use the seat for his political benefit, then his statement would be crass, but would also be evidence that he was operating within the parameters of the law. The type of political maneuvering engaged in by the then-governor may seem to the average citizen (or juror, for that matter), to be less than wholesome, perhaps even a bit sneaky, but if every unwholesome or sneaky maneuver were a crime, we would not be able to build the prisons quickly enough to meet demand.
Why didn’t Fitzgerald wait? Joe Hall, writing on February 19 in Gateway Pundit has a good explanation. He says that Blago was set up by Mueller, Comey, and the deep state gang and that President Trump’s release of Blago may be intended to send the gang the message that he will fight them. Hall cites investigative reporter Marty Waters, who said last August that
the Deep State, led by Comey and Mueller, did the same thing with the fraudulent Mueller investigation sham as they did in the past. They create distraction, diversion and disinformation. In the early 2000’s they created Plamegate to distract and divert from the billions lost in Iraq and the weapons of mass destruction narrative that got the US into the war. In the mid-2000’s, they created the Rezco/Blagogate scandals to cover up for Obama’s corrupt actions early in his administration and while in the US Senate. The Mueller investigation distracted from the many crimes involving Obama and the Clintons and was in the same mold as the prior sham investigations.
Hall sums up and concludes:
Of course Mueller was the Head of the FBI throughout most of the 2000’s and before Comey took over the now corrupted institution. Also, Comey claimed Fitzgerald was his attorney after it was suspected that Comey shared classified information with Fitzgerald during the Russian hoax scandal.
After Trump commuted Blago’s sentence, Governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker condemned the president’s decision. He said,
Illinoisans have endured far too much corruption, and we must send a message to politicians that corrupt practices will no longer be tolerated. President Trump has abused his pardon power in inexplicable ways to reward his friends and condone corruption, and I deeply believe this pardon sends the wrong message at the wrong time.
Pritzker’s self-righteous moralizing is ironic. According to a story in the Chicago Tribune published May 31, 2017,
Pritzker, a billionaire businessman with political ambitions, told Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich he was “really not that interested” in the U.S. Senate seat the governor was dealing in late 2008. Instead, Pritzker offered his own idea: Would Blagojevich make him Illinois treasurer?
Blago is no angel, but I can’t help liking him. I admire his spirit. He refused to cave to Obama and the higher-ups. Now that he is out, he is free to tell us where the bodies are buried. You can be sure he knows a lot, and with the commutation, the Feds can’t shut him up anymore. Blago has Obama on the ropes, and fortunately for those of us who care about truth, he is a skilled boxing champ.