Blagojevich Pens Op-Ed Piece From Behind Bars

Craig Dellimore
May 29, 2018 - 9:15 pm
Rod Blagojevich

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is asserting he’s behind bars not for committing a real crime, but for engaging in normal, necessary politics.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports from the Loop.

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, the ousted governor said he’s in federal prison for routine political fundraising. When federal investigators and prosecutors cannot prove a crime has been committed, they make one up, Blagojevich said in his op-ed piece, dated Sunday.

The Chicago Democrat was sentenced to 14 years in prison for essentially peddling his political influence and power. But Blagojevich writes he never accepted gifts, vacations, clothes or anything else.

He warns political candidates to avoid fundraising and to beware what he calls inferred quid pro quo, or benefits that a jury may be instructed to consider.

Still, U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel, who reaffirmed Blagojevich’s sentence in 2016, has said the fabric of the state was torn by Blagojevich.

The ex-governor’s essay comes as he and his family have exhausted conventional legal appeals. They have sought to get the attention of President Donald Trump, who once featured Blagojevich on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” television show.