Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

Introduction

From an FBI press release:


Former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich was sentenced [7 December 2011] to 14 years in federal prison following his conviction at trials in 2010 and 2011 on 18 felony counts of corruption during his tenure as governor, including his effort in 2008 to illegally trade the appointment of a United States Senator in exchange for $1.5 million in campaign contributions or other personal benefits. Blagojevich was also sentenced for shaking down the chief executive of a children’s hospital for $25,000 in campaign contributions in exchange for implementing an increase to pediatric reimbursement rates; holding up the signing of a bill to benefit the Illinois horse racing industry in an attempt to illegally obtain $100,000 in campaign contributions; and lying to the FBI in 2005.


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Blagojevich, a lawyer and former state prosecutor, state legislator, and U.S. Representative, was arrested on Dec. 9, 2008, while serving his second term as governor. He was accused of using his office in numerous matters involving state appointments, business, legislation and pension fund investments to seek or obtain such financial benefits as money, campaign contributions, and employment for himself and others, in exchange for official actions, including trying to leverage his authority to appoint a United States Senator to replace then President-Elect Obama.


Blagojevich went to trial in the summer of 2010 and was convicted of lying to FBI agents when he falsely told them in an interview on March 16, 2005, that he did not track, or want to know, who contributed to him or how much money they contributed to him, but the jury was deadlocked on all remaining counts.


He went to trial again in the spring of 2011 and was convicted on 17 additional counts, including 10 counts of wire fraud, two counts of attempted extortion, two counts of conspiracy to commit extortion, one count of soliciting bribes, and two counts of conspiracy to solicit and accept bribes.


The prosecution was part of Operation Board Games, a public corruption investigation of pay-to-play schemes, including insider-dealing, influence-peddling and kickbacks involving private interests and public duties. The investigation began in 2003 and has resulted in convictions against 15 defendants, including two former chiefs of staff for Blagojevich while he was governor.

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Video

How Failed Bribery Plot Put Governor In Prison For 14 Years | MSNBC

(This video is provided for the factual content it contains about Mr. Blagojevich but not for the political editorial comments about the current U.S. president.)

Video

Pres. Trump Commutes Rod Blagojevich Sentence | CBS Denver


On 18 February 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters that he had commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, who had served 8 years of a 14 year prison term.

Video

A Grayer Blagojevich Thanks Trump For Commuting Prison Sentence | NBC News