Supreme Court declines to hear Blagojevich appeal

Supreme Court declines to hear Blagojevich appeal

April 16 (UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear an appeal of imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Blagojevich, who’s in the seventh year of his 14-year sentence, has his case listed under the caption “Certiorari denied,” meaning the high court would not consider the case.

The decision marks the former governor’s final legal avenue in the court system to shorten his prison sentence. Blagojevich’s only other option would be for President Donald Trump to take action.

“The president knows Rod, he was on his show,” Patti Blagojevich, Illinois’ former first lady, told NBC5 last week.

“He said nice things to him when he was on the show, he’s spoken favorably about Rod subsequent to that. So I think that, of any of our recent presidents we probably have the best shot with President Trump because he does have that relationship with Rod.”

Blagojevich was convicted on 18-counts of corruption — including attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by former Illinois Sen. Barack Obama when he ran for president. He was recorded on federal wiretaps trying to arrange a six-figure job in return for the Senate appointment.

The Supreme Court rejected Blagojevich’s appeal without comment.

The former governor’s lawyer, Leonard Goodman, said it was “easy to put politicians to jail in the Midwest” but “so difficult” to do so on the East Coast.

“If we’re going to require elected officials who aren’t independently wealthy to go out and raise funds, tell them what the line is so that they can follow the rules,” Goodman said.

Supporters of Blagojevich say his case could have been used to clear up sometimes conflicting campaign finance laws.

“Very murky standards,” Goodman said. “Federal judges have pronounced themselves confused by these standards and asked the Supreme Court to step in and clarify.”