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Durbin Supports Early Release For Blagojevich, Says It's Up To Trump

August 13, 2019 - 5:12 pm

Related: Illinois GOP: No Commutation For Blagojevich

SPRINGFIELD (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Downstate Congressman and a U.S. senator disagree on whether former Gov. Rod Blagojevich should stay in federal prison.

WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Dahl talked with the elected leaders at the Illinois State Fair on Tuesday.

Darin LaHood and the rest of the Illinois Republican delegation advise President Trump to have Blagojevich serve out the rest of his 14-year sentence for corruption offenses.

Trump recently indicated he’s leaning toward granting clemency to Blagojevich, who is about halfway through his sentence.

“There was never an indication of prosecutorial misconduct, law enforcement misconduct, judicial misconduct,” LaHood said. “When it went to the U.S. Supreme Court, there was no allegation of that at all – or that the sentence was somehow unreasonable or outside of the guidelines.”

Meantime, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, once again said he wouldn’t oppose an early release for the disgraced ex-governor.

“I think 14 years does not really match up with the crimes that he committed. I think it went too far, and I said it a year ago: I thought that was excessive,” Durbin said.

Durbin said it’s ultimately the president’s decision.

Opinions from other elected officials have varied. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, expressed mixed feelings, while Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Blagojevich should serve out his full sentence.