The Rev. Jesse Jackson reiterated Wednesday that he believes Rod Blagojevich has spent too much time in prison and again asked for Donald Trump to pardon the former Illinois governor.
“He [Blagojevich] has spent seven years [in prison] and we urge the president to pardon him,” Jackson said at a news conference.
Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison in 2011 for attempting to sell Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat that was vacated when Obama won the 2008 presidential election.
Jackson said Blagojevich should have never gone to prison and named other former governors, including George Ryan, who he said committed more egregious crimes but were never punished or served less time in jail.
“He [Trump] has the power – those that are in prison and in jail who cannot afford jail – to set them free,” Jackson said.
Jackson and his son, former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., sent a letter to Trump, dated July 12, asking him to pardon Blagojevich.
In the letter the Jacksons wrote, “We stand with his family as they seek a full pardon for a father and husband that has served most of a sentence that was far longer than the offense deserved.”
Blagojevich’s wife, Patti Blagojevich, has also made several attempts to reach out to the president to have her husband pardoned.