Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
State of Illinois

Congressman Bost Opposes Commutation of Blagojevich Sentence

Rod Blagojevich as he looked in prison.

A southern Illinois congressman who was in the Illinois General Assembly at the time of Rod Blagojevich's sentencing says he disagrees with President Trump's decision to commute the former governor's sentence.
Murphysboro republican Mike Bost says everyone is focusing on Blagojevich seeking to sell an appointment to Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat, but the case went well beyond that.

"The shaking down of an orphanage -- for licensure purposes -- to a campaign fund. The shaking down of a children's hospital expansion for a contribution to his campaign fund. Several items that were just blatant abuse."

Bost admits he's more passionate about the case because of his closeness to it.

"Now, the President keeps arguing, 'Well, he's been separated from his family.' My argument with the President is 'I understand that's the way you feel, but there were a lot of people separated from a lot of important things because of the things he did...including the State of Illinois being thrown into a budget crisis.' There are a whole lot of things that are very, very personal with that."

Bost says he also believes Blagojevich's sentence was fair because the judge who imposed it considered Illinois' history of corruption in the governor's office.

Bost says he presented his opinion on the matter to President Trump on three different occasions within the past several months.