Impeached, Imprisoned Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Slams Democrats on Impeachment

Rod Blagojevich and Obama (Jeff Haynes / AFP / Getty)
Rod Blagojevich and Obama (Jeff Hayes / AFP / Getty

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed, and later criminally convicted, for trying to sell then-president-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, has written an op-ed condemning Democrats’ ongoing impeachment effort.

The op-ed, published at Newsmax on Tuesday, argued that Democrats’ new standard for impeachment is so low that they would have impeached President Abraham Lincoln. (In fact, Democrats’ opposition to Lincoln triggered the Civil War.)

Blagojevich, who was a member of Congress during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998, and was quickly impeached and removed as governor in January 2009 just weeks after the accusations against him first emerged, wrote:


First, today’s Democrats would have impeached Lincoln for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power when he unilaterally issued his Emancipation Proclamation.

And then there’s the matter of the job offer to [Confederate General] Robert E. Lee. Shortly after the firing on Fort Sumter by secessionists in South Carolina, and one day after Virginia seceded from the Union, President Lincoln sent an emissary to Robert E. Lee to offer him command of the Northern armies.

Can’t you see how a Speaker Pelosi and many of today’s House Democrats would call for the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate Lincoln for “Confederate Collusion” and bring impeachment charges for abuse of power for offering the top military command to a guy who would go on to become the top military commander of the other side?

And surely, articles of impeachment would be brought against Lincoln by today’s House Democrats for suspending the writ of habeas corpus across the Union as it related to traitors, spies, prisoners of war and Union soldiers.

Read the full Blagojevich op-ed here.

For years, Blagojevich had been considered an up-and-coming star in the Democratic Party. However, he became a symbol of corruption in Chicago and in Illinois politics generally.

Blagojevich and his wife have been asking President Donald Trump to pardon him. Trump reportedly considered a commutation last year, noting Blagojevich’s sentence was unusually harsh and that he had been treated “unfairly.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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