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Illinois GOP urges Trump not to set Blagojevich free

August 9, 2019
FILE - In this March 14, 2012, file photo, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, with his wife Patti at his side, speaks to the media in Chicago before reporting to federal prison in Denver. President Donald Trump says he's "very strongly" considering commuting the sentence of Blagojevich, who is serving a 14-year prison term on multiple federal corruption convictions. Trump suggested more than a year ago that he was considering a commutation for Blagojevich, who then filed paperwork requesting a commutation. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
FILE - In this March 14, 2012, file photo, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, with his wife Patti at his side, speaks to the media in Chicago before reporting to federal prison in Denver. President Donald Trump says he's "very strongly" considering commuting the sentence of Blagojevich, who is serving a 14-year prison term on multiple federal corruption convictions. Trump suggested more than a year ago that he was considering a commutation for Blagojevich, who then filed paperwork requesting a commutation. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — 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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