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Is Patti Blagojevich Getting Through To Trump?

Rod and Patti Blagojevich
Rod Blagojevich and his wife Patti speak to reporters following his corruption conviction on May 5, 2011.

Former Illinois first lady Patti Blagojevich has once again gotten the attention of President Donald Trump.

She’s been going on Fox News to argue for clemency for her imprisoned husband, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

Patti Blagojevich likens the prosecution of her husband to the investigations into President Trump.

“I think that they just keep digging and digging and digging and they keep putting pressure on people that are close to the president, just like they did to us,” Patti Blagojevich said in her latest Fox appearance. “They find people that are close to you and that have committed wrongdoing that’s unassociated with you, and they put pressure on them to say whatever they want them to say.”

In a tweet, Trump called the appearance “required television watching.”

“These same prosecutors — the same political assassins, as I like to call them — are taking legal fundraising contributions and legal requests for fundraising, and turning them into something that they’re trying to say are crimes. And they’re non-existent crimes,” Patti Blagojevich said on Fox.

A judge, jury, and appellate court disagreed. They thought it was criminal, for example, when Blagojevich demanded a $50,000 “campaign contribution” in exchange for increasing state payments to a children’s hospital. (Quotation marks from the 7th Circuit Appellate Court opinion.)

Without clemency or a pardon, Rod Blagojevich is scheduled to be in prison until May 23, 2024.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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