GOP Leader In Illinois Statehouse Blasts Trump Over Blagojevich Commutation
The top Republican in Illinois’ statehouse slammed President Donald Trump on Tuesday for commuting the sentence of former Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich, according to The Hill.
Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin said the president must not be "concerned about the state of Illinois for next November,” when residents will head to the polls.
“We have a massive federal investigation into corruption in the state of Illinois and this action distracts and dilutes what I think is the proper role of the Department of Justice — to root out corruption,” Durkin said, speaking before reporters. “I don’t agree.”
Blagojevich, who is a former contestant on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” was convicted on numerous corruption charges in 2011, The Hill noted, “including attempted extortion of a children's hospital for campaign contributions and trying to sell former President Obama’s Senate seat after the 44th president was elected to the White House in 2008." Blagojevich began his prison sentence in 2012.
Durkin described Blagojevich’s actions as “rogue on steroids” and said the former governor “didn’t care about the state of Illinois, he cared about his own ambition.”
“He abused the office, and the legislature did the appropriate thing, the federal courts did the right thing,” the Republican said. “Not only at the district court level but through the appellate court and also the U.S. Supreme Court, which said his sentence was appropriate.”
Trump discussed commuting Blagojevich’s sentence on Tuesday before leaving the Washington, telling reporters: "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."