President Donald Trump announced that he was commuting the sentence of former disgraced Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich. In 2011, Blagojevich was convicted by a federal jury in Chicago for attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat that opened after President Barack Obama was elected President in 2008. There was a total of 17 guilty counts charged against him and Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
While Blagojevich, 63, wasn’t expected to be released from Colorado’s federal prison until 2024, Trump has been discussing commuting his sentence since 2018 with help from Blagojevich’s wife, Patricia [Patti] Blagojevich. Trump knows the former governor personally as Blagojevich was once a contestant on his NBC reality series, The Apprentice.
Trump previously mentioned that he was seriously thinking of “a curtailment on (former Illinois governor and now federal prisoner) Blagojevich,” which a reporter clarified to mean a sentence commutation. He said Blagojevich said “foolish” things which led to his imprisonment and said, “18 years in jail for being stupid” is unfair. Blagojevich was actually sentenced to serve 14 years in federal prison, not 18 years in jail.
After Blagojevich wrote an article in Newsmax entitled “House Democrats Would Have Impeached Lincoln,” Patricia retweeted it and has tagged Trump in a retweet of Newsmax’s article, “Opposing a Rod Blagojevich Pardon Just as Political as His Prosecution,” with the message, “So glad people are finally starting to see the truth! @realDonaldTrump.”
Here’s what you need to know about Patricia “Patti” Blagojevich:
1. Patti Blagojevich Has Spent The Past 2 Years Campaigning For Her Husband’s Early Release
Appeared on Trump’s favorite news station, Fox News, to defend her husband. She said, “My husband is probably the only person in the history of the United States serving prison for simply asking for campaign contributions. He never took a bribe. Never took a kickback.”
She previously one of Trump’s major foe’s talk shows, Rosie O’Donnell’s The Rosie Show in February of 2012. She broke down crying while talking about the reality of him leaving for prison, and the effect it will have on their two children.
2. The Blagojevich’s Daughters Amy & Annie Maintain That Their Father Is Innocent
In 2017, five years into Blagojevich’s prison sentence, Amy and Annie Blagojevich, like their mother, believed their father was unfairly sentenced. At the time, Amy was attending college at Northwestern University while Annie was still in high school.
As reported by In Touch, Patti spoke Blagojevich’s prison sentence and how rough it was for Annie and Amy. “This has been an absolutely grueling process. I am without my husband. My daughters are without their dad. And Rod is alone away from all of us. My sincere hope is that the supreme court will finally right this wrong and bring my husband home to his family where he belongs.”
3. Patti Blagojevich Still Lives In Chicago
Although the memory of her husband being arrested at their home in Chicago in 2008 lingers, Patti remains living in the Windy City. According to NBC Chicago in 2014, Patti and her daughters continuously visited Blagojevich in jail, which is located just outside Denver. They also reported that Patti is “working her heart out on her real estate business to help the family financially.”
4. Patti Blagojevich Appeared On The Reality TV Show ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’
While appearing with her husband on the daytime TV talk show The View, Patti Blagojevich said, when asked by Meghan McCain why she did a reality show, she said she was NBC’s second choice and she did the show for the money.
“I went on the reality show because it was a necessity for our family. NBC wanted my husband on the show and he was unable to do it and I was faced with a choice …he lost his job, I was fired from my job, we have a home in a neighborhood in Chicago with a mortgage just like everybody else. We have two children in private school… so yes.”
NBC first asked Blagojevich to appear on the show but a federal judge nixed that since that meant the out-on-bail disgraced former governor would have had to travel to Costa Rica. He was replaced with his wife Patti who ended up earning fourth place.
5. Patti Has Remained Team Trump Throughout His Presidency
Since he was elected as President, Patti has not wavered in her support of Donald Trump. In an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, she correlated those questioning the spending on Trump’s 2017 inauguration to what she believed were injustices into her husband’s unrelated federal corruption case.
While it appeared that Patti was directly pandering to Trump, her spokesman later put out a statement saying that her appearance “wasn’t a direct appeal to the president as much as it was an opportunity to highlight the unfairness of the sentence and conviction while expressing disappointment in the SCOTUS decision,” but that “Patti and the rest of the family certainly hope Trump saw her interview.”