Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich praised President Donald Trump on Wednesday after the president commuted his prison sentence.
Blagojevich gave a high-profile press conference outside his home in Illinois after spending his first night of freedom with his family.
He again thanked Trump for commuting his sentence and praised him as a great president.
“Our president, he’s tough and outspoken and has the courage to challenge the old way,” he said. “He’s the one who’s actually fighting to bring real change. That’s why he gets so much pushback.”
Blagojevich again declared that he was a “Trumpocrat.”
“I’m a Trumpocrat. If I have the ability to vote, I’m going to vote for him,” he said. “I don’t know if they’ll allow me to vote.”
The former governor was sentenced to 14 years in prison after he was caught trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat appointment in Illinois to replace then-Sen. Barack Obama after he was elected president.
Although Trump commuted Blagojevich’s prison sentence, he did not offer him a full pardon, which means he remains a convicted felon.
Blagojevich acknowledged that Trump did not gain politically from his decision to commute his sentence.
“Doing this does nothing to help his politics, President Trump is a man who is tough and outspoken but he also has a kind heart, and this is an act of kindness,” he said. “And I also believe that it’s the beginning of a process to actually turn an injustice into a justice.”
The former governor said that in the future, he would campaign for criminal justice reform, describing the legal system as “rigged.”
Blagojevich cut himself shaving prior to the press conference, repeatedly wiping the blood away from his chin with a napkin as he spoke to reporters.
“The scriptures teach us and history shows that in the long run right defeated will; in the end, we’ll overcome wrong triumphant,” he said.
Blagojevich told the people of Illinois that he never stopped fighting for them by fighting his political prosecution.
“Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God,” he said.
Blagojevich also quoted Justice Steven Breyer’s warning about the dangers of allowing federal prosecutors bringing criminal charges against government officials, which threatened the country’s separation of powers.
“I’ve heard the hard way just how dangerous that is. From beginning to end this was persecution masquerading as prosecution,” he said.