Former Illinois Gov. Rob Blagojevich publicly thanked President Donald Trump for commuting his sentence in a press conference outside of his Chicago home with his family by his side on Wednesday, Feb. 19, declaring he is a “Trump-o-crat” now.
“We want to thank and give our most profound and everlasting gratitude to President Trump,” Blagojevich, who had difficulty using a normal razor, said while repeatedly dabbled blood on his chin. “He didn’t have to do this, he’s a Republican President, I was a Democrat governor.”
The ex-governor began his 14-year prison sentence in 2012 at a federal prison in Littleton, Colorado, after being convicted of corruption.
“Trump is a man who is tough and outspoken, but he also has a kind heart,” he said. “This is an act of kindness and I believe this is the beginning of the process to turn an injustice into justice.”
Blagojevich continued to praise the president as “tough and outspoken” and “he gets things done,” noting that the president did not gain politically from his decision to commute his sentence.
“He’s a problem solver, where too many politicians don’t want to solve problems, all they want to do is play politics and get nothing done for the people,” he said. “I’m a Trump-o-crat. If I have the ability to vote, I’m going to vote for him.”
“Our president, he’s tough and outspoken and has the courage to challenge the old way,” he continued. “He’s the one who’s actually fighting to bring real change. That’s why he gets so much pushback.”
Blagojevich was impeached and also convicted on 18 counts, including attempted extortion of a children’s hospital for campaign contributions and trying to sell former President Obama’s Senate seat after he was elected president in 2008. But, Blagojevich has consistently argued that he did nothing wrong, maintaining he was the victim of an overzealous prosecution.
President Trump had been considering commuting Blagojevich’s sentence for more than a year and on Tuesday he confirmed the clemency.
“He’ll be able to go back home with his family after serving eight years in jail,” he told reporters. “Many people disagreed with the sentence.”
Rod Blagojevich did not sell the Senate seat. He served 8 years in prison, with many remaining. He paid a big price. Another Comey and gang deal! Thank you to @LisaMarieBoothe who really “gets” what’s going on! @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2020
Blagojevich described the criminal justice system as “rigged,” saying that he would campaign for criminal justice reform in the future.