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EDITORIAL: Patti Blagojevich put on a terrific show for an audience of one

Former Illinois first lady Patti Blagojevich makes the case for her husband’s release from prison on the Fox News Channel on Tuesday in an interview with Martha MacCallum. Screen image.

Patti Blagojevich played it perfectly.

She could win an Emmy or, better yet, her husband Rod’s freedom.

In an op-ed in the conservative Washington Examiner, and then in an interview on Fox News Channel, she spoke to an audience of exactly one — President Donald Trump — and wrapped her grievances in his.


Patti Blagojevich understands this president: He lifts a finger for nobody unless something good redounds to him. So she waded right into the muck of Trump’s alternate reality to try to persuade him to release her husband, the disgraced former governor, from prison.

For starters, she blamed it all on Barack Obama. You can’t do better than that if you want a friend in Trump.

No matter that George W. Bush was still president when the Justice Department arrested Rod on charges of political corruption.

Then she called it a “witch hunt.” Brilliant move.

And she accused special counsel Robert Mueller of using the same dirty tricks to take down Trump that he and other evil Trump foes, including former FBI chief James Comey, used to take down Rod. It was downright terrible, she said, how Mueller misled a special court to get a warrant to wiretap a former Trump aide.

“Just like the allegation they used against my husband to get six wiretaps on all our phone lines,” she said.

All in all, Patti Blagojevich showed she has studied and mastered the Trump playbook, where truth comes last.

So let’s recall the basic facts:

Rod Blagojevich, as governor, really did try to shake down a hospital executive and a racetrack owner to make big campaign donations. Those convictions hold up even if you accept the view of a federal appellate court that another charge against him, attempting to gain something for himself in return for an appointment to an open Senate seat, was just normal political “logrolling.”

As the appellate court wrote: “The evidence, much of it from Blagojevich’s own mouth, is overwhelming.”

We agree that Rod Blagojevich should be released from prison, as we’ve said before. His sentence of 14 years, which he began serving in 2012, has always struck us as too long. Former Gov. George Ryan, a more committed crook, was sentenced to only 6 1/2 years.

But we also think he’s guilty as charged.

Patti Blagojevich put on an impressive performance.

Now she awaits a review from her audience of one.

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