Friday, June 1, 2018

Trump already gave Arpaio clemency, Blagojevich shouldn’t be a shock

President Donald J. Trump is the man who felt compelled to grant a pardon to the Arizona sheriff who symbolically flipped the bird to federal prosecutors who were trying to make sure he didn’t violate the civil rights of the inmates in his jails, particularly those who were of Latin American ethnic origins.

BLAGOJEVICH: Does he have president's ear?
By comparison, granting some form of clemency to one-time Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is a no-brainer. Relatively speaking, that is.

FOR AN ARGUMENT can be made that the 14-year prison sentence that Blagojevich currently is serving at a federal facility in Colorado is far harsher than the prison terms other political people have received for their government corruption convictions.

I know many people are so offended at the memory of Blagojevich’s six years in charge of Illinois government that they don’t care if he’s getting punished overly harsh.

But if Trump were to follow through with his talk (which, admittedly, can be cheap) and grant Blagojevich some relief that allows him out of prison prior to the 2024 date upon which he’s currently scheduled for release, I don’t think we should be all that surprised.

For what it’s worth, Trump used that ever-present Twitter account of his on Thursday to say he plans to grant a full pardon to Dinesh D’Souza – an ideologue commentator who back in 2014 pleaded guilty to charges he violated federal campaign finance laws.
TRUMP: Does he like idea of ticking people off?

HE SUPPOSEDLY GOT people to donate money to a Republican challenging Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., by promising he’d reimburse them. Meaning he’d be able to exceed laws limiting the amount of money he’d be able to contribute.

Then, while riding on board Air Force One following a presidential appearance in Texas, Trump told reporter-types that he also was considering action to benefit Martha Stewart (who already has served her time in federal prison) and Blagojevich (who remains incarcerated).

According to the Associated Press, Trump told reporters on board the presidential plane that he thinks Blagojevich did dumb things while serving as Illinois governor, but added that “lots of politicians do.” And he believes a 14-year prison term is too long.
BLAGOJEVICH: Will she become a very happy woman?

For what it’s worth, Trump’s expression of sympathy for Blagojevich comes just days after the Wall Street Journal published a Blagojevich-written commentary that expressed the thought federal prosecutors were behaving in ways too harsh and trying to criminalize behavior that is part of the way government operates.

WITH HIMSELF AS “Case No. One” as evidence (“I’m in prison for practicing politics, Rod wrote) for his argument.

I know some argued Blagojevich was wasting his time with such a commentary – Trump doesn’t read! He’s certainly NOT going to be swayed by such an argument.

But the Blagojevich commentary did get more than its share of Twitter attention – which means Trump most likely is aware of it. And considering the two men have a tie (Blagojevich was on one of the Trump television programs back when Rod was still a free man trying to build a sympathetic image for himself), I’m sure he’s aware of the case.

I also don’t doubt that Trump is enough of a smart-aleck personality that he figures the kind of people who will be offended by him showing sympathy for Blagojevich are the ones who routinely deride him for everything else – and that he has nothing to lose!

SO WILL TRUMP make Patti Blagojevich the happiest woman on Earth by allowing her to have a husband back? Will Trump figure he has nothing to lose by ticking off his enemies?
ARPAIO: Trump's truly offensive pardon

Does Trump figure that pardoning D’Souza is his offense to New York Democrats, so that sympathy for Blagojevich is his idea of “equal time” that will tick off Chicago Dems?

Does the man just have a screw or two loose that he’s willing to take such an action for Blagojevich? Which would be ironic, because when Rod was Illinois governor, he was notorious for ignoring requests for clemency to the point where his successors (Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner) had a serious backlog to address when they took office.

All I know is, like I already stated, the idea of giving one-time Phoenix-area Sheriff Joe Arpaio clemency to spare him prison time after he’d already been found guilty of criminal contempt of court for deliberately ignoring various orders restricting his harassment of people just because they’re Latino makes anything he does for Blagojevich petty politics by comparison.


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