‘Would set a detrimental precedent and send a damaging message on your efforts to root out public corruption…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Seven GOP House members from Illinois signed a letter to President Donald Trump asking him not to pardon or grant clemency to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Trump has issued several pardons and commutations, and has said he is considering others, including Blagojevich.
The former Democratic governor is currently serving a 14-year sentence for public corruption, including a conviction for attempting to sell a Senate seat vacated by former President Barack Obama when he became president in 2009.
Blagojevich filed paperwork last week asking Trump to commute his sentence.
“We ask that you give thoughtful attention to our fear that granting clemency to the former governor would set a detrimental precedent and send a damaging message on your efforts to root out public corruption in our government,” the House members’ letter read.
Illinois Republican Reps. Rodney Davis, Darin LaHood, Mike Bost, John Shimkus, Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren, and Adam Kinzinger, all signed the letter.
Trump has said he considers Blagojevich’s sentence as too harsh for someone who was just “being stupid.”
But the GOP letter reminded the president that Blagojevich “showed a consistent pattern of public corruption.”
“While we understand that, as president, you have the privilege and right under our Constitution to grant pardons and clemency as you determine fit, we ask that you consider very carefully the precedent this mat set and the impact it will have on acts of public corruption in the future,” the letter read.
Rep. Davis advised the president to remember the victims of Blagojevich’s crimes.
Public corruption should not be easily excused, he said.
“We cannot forget that these were not victimless crimes committed by the former governor,” Rep. Davis said in a statement. “Many people in Springfield were terrorized by him, fired from their jobs, and financially destroyed by his actions. Rod Blagojevich does not deserve to be pardoned or have his sentence commuted.”