Illinois GOP urges Trump not to set Blagojevich free

CHICAGO - MARCH 14: Disgraced former Illinois Governor 2 (L) gestures while speaking at a news conference outside his home March 14, 2012 in Chicago. Blagojevich must report to a federal prison in Colorado by tomorrow, to start serving a 14-year term he received for his conviction on numerous counts of fraud and corruption including attempting to sell the vacant U.S. Senate seat held by then Senator Barack Obama. (Photo by Frank Polich/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – The Illinois Republican Party’s chairman is urging President Donald Trump not to follow through on the idea he broached this week of freeing imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Tim Schneider said in a written statement Friday that officials found guilty should serve their full sentences, especially in a state where he says “corrupt, machine-style politics is still all too common.”

Trump, a Republican, told reporters Wednesday he believed the seven years the Democrat Blagojevich has served on a 14-year sentence for corruption was enough.

Schneider told The Associated Press that his statement wasn’t sent to Trump but “was directed at anyone who would receive it.” He said state Republicans respect Trump but disagree on releasing Blagojevich.

Schneider said he doesn’t believe the White House has consulted Illinois Republicans about the matter.

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