Former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, himself impeached and now serving a 14-year term in federal prison for corruption, said in a new op-ed that today’s House Democrats would have impeached Abraham Lincoln.
Blagojevich, a Democrat who drew the attention of federal prosecutors when he was caught on tape allegedly attempting to ‘sell’ former President Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, said in a Newsmax column that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., would have President Lincoln impeached as swiftly as she has President Trump.
In the column, he said he admires his fellow Illinoisan and also that he served in Congress during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceeding.
Blagojevich noted one of House Democrats’ two articles of impeachment against Trump is the alleged obstruction of Congress.
“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 said, referring to the Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect on this day in 1863 and itself was a “unilateral” executive branch decision.
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In addition, the 62-year-old former governor said Pelosi would likely charge that Lincoln had committed “Confederate Collusion” when he offered Virginia native Gen. Robert E. Lee command of the U.S. Army.
Lee, as history recalls, turned down Lincoln’s offer in deference to his beloved Old Dominion and instead became the leader of the Confederate forces fighting against the Union’s Army of the Potomac when Richmond broke away from Washington.
Blagojevich remarked that Democrats would likely have clamored for a Robert Mueller-type figure to look into why Lincoln, a Republican, sought out the services of someone who become an opposing-state actor.
“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?” he asked in his column.
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Blagojevich also contended that the then-common “horse-trading” at Republican and Democratic presidential nominating conventions would amount to bribery in the eyes of today’s Democrats.
In the 1860s, in seeking out the support of delegates in the perennially key commonwealth of Pennsylvania, aides to Lincoln offered Sen. Simon Cameron, R-Pa., a cabinet position.
The powerful Lancaster lawmaker was later named Lincoln’s secretary of war — and Cameron, in turn, appointed a Pennsylvania Railroad executive to be his deputy.
That scenario, Blagojevich remarked, would be ripe for Democrats to have labeled a “quid pro quo.”
For his part, Trump said in August that he was “seriously” considering commuting Blagojevich’s jail sentence — claiming the ex-governor has been treated “unbelievably unfairly” by ex-FBI Director James Comey’s “gang” “and all these sleazebags that did it.”
Fox News’ Mike Tobin contributed to this report.