A Blago update . . .
It’s that time of year again.
This weekend marks 10 years since the dramatic arrest of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was subsequently sentenced to 14 years in prison on public-corruption charges.
For his wife, Patti Blagojevich, who is hoping her husband is released soon, it marks the seventh year she and her two daughters have spent Christmas without him.
Only this time, Patti thinks the year will have a happy ending.
“I don’t believe in counting my chickens before they are hatched — and I know President Trump has a lot on his hands right now — but I feel hopeful it will happen this time,” she told Sneed. “And if it isn’t in time for Christmas — it may happen before the year ends.”
“I feel like there has been a good response from people who know the president and are close to him,” she told Sneed.
“It’s all positive. We know the president will do what he thinks is the right thing to do.
“Our fate is in his hands, and he knows and has said how unfair Rod’s sentence was, and I know he [Trump] has a lot on his plate right now.
“You know, I feel like history is repeating itself considering what President Trump is going through personally right now.
“The same people that did this to us are doing it to President Trump! They are going after Trump. Pressuring his friends and allies. Charging people with perjury. I feel like I’m living through it all over again with the same people and the same tactics.
“It’s like deja vu with what happened to my husband,” said Patti.
“What he (Trump) is dealing with is the same cast of characters with people accusing him of things and being treated unfairly.
“When they arrested Rod they acted like they were storming the compound at Waco!”
Blagojevich recently took to Facebook to post brickbats on the extraordinary methods federal agents used to arrest her husband, which was reported in a recent Chicago Magazine article.
Quoth Blagojevich: “UGH! Just read the Chicago Magazine story where the FBI agents that arrested Rod have decided to get their 5 min of celebrity. All that planning — hostage negotiators, SWAT team members — what a waste of all of our taxpayer money.
“If they simply had the common decency to call my husband’s attorney, he would have presented himself at their office — no need to raid our home at 6 a.m. It is clear that their motivation was to intimidate us. They even state in the article twice that they were trying to get Rod to ‘cooperate’ — code word for lying about someone else and pleading guilty to non-existent crimes for leniency. If that is not extortion, I don’t know what is.”
Meanwhile, Robert Blagojevich, the former mayor’s brother, tells Sneed he is also continuing to fight for his brother’s freedom.
And is hoping he’ll be home for Christmas.
“I have never stopped reaching out to persons who have access to President Trump in hopes of getting my brother home by Christmas,” he told Sneed.
“Hopefully, there will be an offer of mercy to commute Rod’s sentence and get him out of that federal prison camp in Denver,” he added. “I continue to be cautiously optimistic.
“I’m also hopeful this bipartisan agreement on a justice reform bill might be a gateway for my brother through the criminal justice system,” added Blagojevich, who claims not to have had any “real” contact with his brother in years.
Describing his relationship with his brother as “sadly estranged,” Blagojevich added he was not on his brother’s visiting list in prison.
“An earlier attempt to visit him failed,” he said.
They have not seen each other since the sentencing in 2012.
Sneed is told the last time Blagojevich visited her husband was after their daughter Amy graduated from Northwestern University and before she headed to University overseas.
“Rod’s hair is still gray, he is no longer teaching classes since he entered the federal prison’s low minimum security camp system in Denver, and his job is basically janitorial.
“But he’s doing OK,” said a source.
“But what’s OK without your family and watching your kids grow up?”
Sneedlings . . .
Begorrah! Congrats to Terrence J. Hancock, president of Teamster Joint Council 25, on being named the grand marshal of the Chicago St Patrick’s Day Parade. Not bad for a guy who started out driving a dump truck. . . . I spy: Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis spotted partying it up in grand style at Kiki’s Bistro recently. . . . Bear Jordan Howard at the Chicago Sports Museum. . . . Comedian Bob Saget dining at Harry Caray’s in Lombard on Tuesday. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Nicki Minaj, 36; Sam Hunt, 34; and Dwight Howard, 33. . . Sunday’s birthdays: Kirk Douglas, 102; Donny Osmond, 61; and Lori Greiner, 49.