The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has recommended that former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich be stripped of his license to practice law. You might remember that Blagojevich is the criminal whose sentence President Donald J. Trump recently commuted. He was impeached and removed from office back in 2009 before being indicted. He was eventually convicted for trying to “sell” President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat.
Yeah, it has to do with Obama — so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Trump released him from prison. The original charges were wire fraud, bribery, and attempted extortion. No big deal for a president who’s been committing many of the same offenses and getting away with it in spectacular fashion.
Blagojevich’s license had already been suspended by the Illinois Supreme Court. Whether or not he ever planned to practice law again was up in the air anyway.
Blagojevich said of the ruling, “I haven’t practiced law since 1995. Imagine yourself sitting on a place and then the pilot announces before takeoff that he hasn’t flown in 25 years. Wouldn’t you want to get off that plane? I don’t want to hurt anybody.”
Even now, the man doesn’t admit that he did anything wrong.
His successor, former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, said, “It is ironic that someone who didn’t care about those people waiting for an answer, or the families waiting for them at home, was the beneficiary of a commutation. There was no remorse. There was no contrition. What we saw was disgraceful.”
Quinn was referring to the thousands of requests for clemency that he inherited from Blagojevich’s desk.
Jury foreman during Blagojevich’s first trial, James Matsumoto, said, “It’s strange, because if anyone knows about his guilt, it’s Rod Blagojevich. He heard the evidence at two trials. He has to know what he did was criminal.”
Regardless of the current debate over whether his commutation was justified, there were many contentious arguments about whether or not the original sentence was too severe in the first place. Clearly he believes himself to be the victim.
Blagojevich said, “I’m returning home today from a long exile a freed political prisoner. I want to say again to the people of Illinois who twice elected me governor: I didn’t let you down. I would have let you down if I gave into this. But resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”
This from a guy who tried to sell a United States Senate Seat! No words do the situation justice, from a legal standpoint. For now, we can only move on.