The Illinois Supreme Court officially disbarred Rod Blagojevich, the former Democratic governor of Illinois, of the right to practice law on Monday over corrupt acts while in office, the Washington Examiner reported.
The move comes after Blagojevich was released from prison early in February thanks to President Donald Trump, who granted him clemency.
Disbarment follows prison term
Blagojevich’s political career came to end in 2011 when he was convicted for trying to sell Barack Obama’s former Senate seat and extort a children’s hospital.
He ended up serving eight years behind bars before Trump commuted his sentence in February, prompting backlash from some who took issue with a flurry of pardons and commutations that Trump ordered, including for Bernie Kerik, the former NYPD commissioner, and white-collar criminal Michael Milken.
On Monday, Illinois’s highest court stripped Blagojevich of his law license, a decision that he made no effort to contradict, citing his prison stay.
The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission had first suggested the penalty in March, after Blagojevich was released.
“Imagine yourself sitting on a plane, and then the pilot announces before takeoff that he hasn’t flown in 25 years,” he said. “Wouldn’t you want to get off that plane? I don’t want to hurt anybody,” he said.
Blago to debut podcast
Blagojevich notably thanked Trump in February upon his release, declaring himself a changed man and a “Trump-ocrat.” “He’s got obviously a big fan in me,” Blagojevich said. “And if you’re asking me what my party affiliation is, I’m a Trump-ocrat.”
Trump has long said that Blagojevich’s 14-year sentence was too harsh, and he called it a “tremendously powerful, ridiculous” punishment in February.
According to Blago’s attorney, the former Illinois governor does not believe he did anything wrong. With his political and legal life now in tatters, Blago is moving into new directions.
The “Trumpo-crat” signed a deal to start his own podcast called “The Lightning Rod,” in which he will talk about what he “learned from the school of hard knocks.”
“After a long exile, I made it home,” Blagojevich said in a statement, according to blogger Robert Feder. “It’s a brand new day. I’m finally free and fired up to speak my mind, provide insights from the inside, and share what I’ve learned from the school of hard knocks.”