Rod Blagojevich pens op-ed from jail: 'Democrats would have impeached Lincoln'

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) wrote in an op-ed from federal prison on Thursday that Democrats in the House led by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi scoffs at comparison between Trump and Churchill: 'I think they're hallucinating' Republicans stand by Esper after public break with Trump Pelosi joins protests against George Floyd's death outside Capitol MORE (D-Calif.) would have impeached President Abraham Lincoln for obstructing Congress.

The former governor, who is seen by some as angling for a pardon by President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE, wrote for Newsmax that Lincoln's decision to avoid Congress and issue the Emancipation Proclamation would have infuriated Pelosi as it did Lincoln's political foes at the time, Democrats who represented Southern slave-owning states.

"Lincoln didn't ask Congress for permission when he declared an end to nearly 250 years of slavery and offered freedom to millions of slaves in the American South. He neither consulted Congress nor sought its consent before he acted," the former governor wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT

"In fact, at the time Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the Democrats of that day opposed it," he added.

Blagojevich, who was convicted for trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by former President Obama, went on to argue that Pelosi and modern-day Democrats would fault Lincoln for writing to General Robert E. Lee to try to win Lee's loyalty ahead of the Civil War, comparing it to the House investigation of the Trump campaign and Russian election interference.

"Can't you see how a Speaker Pelosi and many of today's House Democrats would call for the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate Lincoln for "Confederate Collusion” and bring impeachment charges for abuse of power for offering the top military command to a guy who would go on to become the top military commander of the other side?" Blagojevich wrote.

Trump hinted in August of last year that clemency or a pardon for Blagojevich could be in the future, telling reporters on Air Force One at the time that he was "thinking about commuting his sentence very strongly," pointing to lobbying efforts by Blagojevich's wife.

"He has served 7 years. Many people have asked that I study the possibility of commuting his sentence in that it was a very severe one," Trump added on Twitter. "White House staff is continuing the review of this matter."