The man who served as Attorney General during the trial of Rod Blagojevich suggested today he would not be opposed to shortening the former governor’s sentence.
Asked Friday morning about potential pardons and commutations which might be made by President Trump, Former United States Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes Blagojevich’s sentence was too severe.
“Blagojevich, I’m not so sure,” he said. “If what you did was to reduce that sentence---I thought the 14 year sentence was a little harsh, and that was a case brought when I was the attorney general.”
“I thought that sentence was a little harsh, and if that sentence was reduced, that would be consistent with what we did in the Obama administration---we looked at that vast number of people who, in the war on drugs, were arrested, convicted, and who should have gone to jail, but didn’t deserve to be in jail for 20 years, 30 years, or life.”
In actuality, President Obama had an opportunity to shorten Blagojevich’s sentence, but took no action on his previous petition for clemency.
While he said he was not opposed to shortening the Blagojevich sentence, Holder said he had other thoughts on the President’s overall pardon strategy.
“I’m a little concerned about what’s going on now, where I think the president is trying to send a message to some people who potentially might be involved in the Russia investigation,” he said. “Very few of these people would be considered good candidates for pardons.”
Holder told an audience at St. Anselm College Friday morning, that he believes any potential pardons will not have an adverse effect on the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in American elections.
“If Bob Mueller wants to take a pardoned person, put that person before a grand jury, that person no longer has the right to say ‘I’m going to invoke my fifth amendment right,’” he noted. “That’s been stripped away---you have a pardon.”