Former Illinois Democratic governor backs Trump during Mar-a-Lago visit

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Making friends with Democrats has not been an emphasis for former President Donald Trump, but he has one nonetheless in a former Illinois governor.

Visiting Trump in Mar-a-Lago this weekend with prominent Republicans like House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is backing the GOP presidential candidate in the November election.

Blagojevich served as governor from 2003 through 2009 when he was impeached and ultimately removed for corruption from office by the Illinois General Assembly. His removal from office was prompted by two dozen charges including extorting a children’s hospital for campaign funds and attempting to sell then-President-Elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat.

Then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks with supporters and the press in Peoria in February 2006. Blagojevich recently backed former President Trump during a Mar-a-Lago visit.
Then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks with supporters and the press in Peoria in February 2006. Blagojevich recently backed former President Trump during a Mar-a-Lago visit.

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A federal judge set a 14-year sentence that was commuted by Trump in 2020, Blagojevich only serving eight years.

The former governor endorsed Trump that year and has repeatedly claimed the four indictments against the former president have been politically motivated.

Trump is currently searching for a vice president candidate and, while Blagojevich is an unlikely candidate, he does have the ability to hold federal office. Yet, his removal from office by the Illinois General Assembly meant he could never hold state or local office again, which a federal judge upheld in a March ruling.

Not surprisingly, Gov. JB Pritzker won't be joining Blagojevich in backing Trump. Pritzker is a surrogate for President Joe Biden's campaign.

"If you think about what happened to jobs, what happened to the economy as a result of Donald Trump's leadership? Nobody wants to go back to that," he said at an unrelated event on Tuesday.

Contact Patrick M. Keck: 312-549-9340, pkeck@gannett.com, twitter.com/@pkeckreporter

This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich endorses Donald Trump