March 15th, 2012
11:30 AM ET

Abramoff to Blagojevich: 'Keep your head down'

On the day former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich begins a 14-year prison sentence on a corruption conviction, he's getting some advice on life behind bars from someone who knows firsthand how hard it can be: Jack Abramoff.

Abramoff, a former Republican lobbyist, was the central figure in a corruption scandal that ultimately led to charges against numerous lobbyists and public officials. He served four years of a six-year sentence in federal prison.

In a poignant interview on CNN's "Starting Point," Abramoff offered a strategy to Blagojevich for surviving his incarceration. Watch the video to hear Abramoff's advice and reflections on his big regret the day he surrendered to authorities.

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Filed under: Crime • Jack Abramoff • Politics • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. john

    Donald Trump and his disgusting two animal hunting sons should be put in jail like this guy just to teach the world that greedy cruel acts don't pay.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duke5343

      What animal killing? What about the animals that kill other animals, should they be charged for Murder

      B best to learn to deep throat and swallow not spit- very disrespectful

      March 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ETP

      Ridiculous post. I bet you live in the middle of a concrete jungle..... Legal hunting is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.Try it before you spew this bs. I would love to see you in a survival will be the first to die.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Cincinnati

      ETP thinks that "legal hunting is a great way to enjoy the outdoors". We all love the outdoors. We would be shooting our cardinals to improve our enjoyment, if only it were legal. I'm sure it would prepare us for the survival situation just like the Trump boys, now that they've paid their guides thousands of dollars to hunt down beautiful animals for them.

      March 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |

    In this case the Judge was the only winner. He got what he wanted even if it took him through two trials. How is that not manipulating the system to get what he wants, is different than what Blago wanted and tried manipulating the system. He should have probably got 5 years plus 10 thousands days of community services. Blago personally did not benefited from his stupidity but this judge literally took personal on him.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      If there's one thing you can say about ANY justice system, it is that they are "unpredictable." Those who expect a reliable comparison between various crimes and their sentencing are expecting the impossible. Thus, murderers get shorter sentences than some white collar crimes. Drug sentences are longer for minority inmates without good lawyers.

      Mostly any justice system is a cr*p shoot. Once you get into it, you can never predict the outcome with any degree of certainty. Blago got stung.

      My opinion of him is that he is NOT the "brightest star" in the heavens, and probably has a sub-standard IQ. It's amazing he got as far as he did, politically!

      I'm actually sorry he got a 14 year sentence, and I hope that he serves only half of it. Not because I like him or because he doesn't deserve it, but frankly enough is enough. There's no doubt that he will get the "message" even with a 7 year sentence.

      I wish him good luck, even though he is a criminal. By comparison he does not hold a candle to Madoff.


      March 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Imdaman

      AllAmerican you are truly an American. You have it 100% right. It is refreshing to read intelligent postings

      March 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      He tried to sell a senate seat. Think about that the next time that you are reflecting upon this Congress and its 8 percent approval rating. He got off easy with 14 years.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. EE

    Wow, finally some bipartisan dialogue

    March 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Corky

    Our justice system is a joke. He could have killed Michael Jackson and done less time!

    March 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jake

    JUSTICE. Though quite frankly I find the publicity seeking Abramoff disgusting. This guy is still working his cons. Can't believe he got out early. All the politicians need some time in the JOINT. my two cents.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. yahmez the mad

    Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich was responsible for the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians and was sentenced to forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay for three months and reduction in rank to private. Blagojevich, who was guilty of corruption and bad hair, got sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. Does anybody else see a problem?

    March 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • common sense

      Welcome to American justice my friend..

      March 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jarhead4life

      Yes, I see a couple problems. First, the judge should have required that Blago shave his head, 2nd the SGt should not have had his pay garnished. 3rd Blago should not be eligible for parole – he must do all 14 years, and they should not be in minimum security ranch. Aside from that it looks good to me.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      You should at least tell the truth.. The charges of murder against Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich were dropped. He was given that sentence for "negligent dereliction of duty". I guess you would prefer people went to jail even though they were never found guilty of a crime...

      March 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ron

    I don't like the guy........I think he's a creep and belongs in prison, but not for 14 years. 3 or 4 years would have
    served the same purpose. You have to remember it's not only him but also his family that suffers.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • RussAA

      Well that's the case for ANYONE who goes to prison or is on death suffers. Just the way it is in life.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Guess he should have thought of that before committing his crimes. And as a former state prosecutor, he certainly knew what was at stake.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RussAA

    Bush and Cheney should be right behind him as they all walk into prison.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • common sense

      High 5

      March 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • BLah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Excellent comment! But better yet, Bush and Cheyney would be better off dangling from a rope!

      March 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • common sense

      Oops you left one my friend, Rumsfield..

      March 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • ArizonaYankee

      You better look at what Obama, Holder, Napalitano,, and the rest are doing...They are flat out socialists and destroying the country. Too bad you are to blind or stupid to see it....

      March 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      You must have some evidence that none of the federal prosecutors have.. I recommend that you turn that evidence in to the DOJ immediately.. If I dont see anything about the arrest of Cheney or Bush in the next week or so, then we will all know you are actually just lying..

      March 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Cincinnati

      ArizonaYankee thinks that mention of the s-word wins the argument. I assume AYankee is pleased with the current polarization of wealth in the US.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BLah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    You're right! But we're still missing two accomplices!!! Rice and Powell!

    March 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. yup

    This will give him 10 years to plan his next master sczamm

    March 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Adam

    Here's a tip... don't drop the soap

    March 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Imdaman

    Jack has about 90% of it right. Bad advise to keep your head down. Those guys will walk all over you if you appear weak. He needs to do 4 years get into a camp and then break as many of the stupid rules they have in there. The best advise is to be smart act stupid and hang with the real criminals. Stay away from the white collar guys they are weak and will turn on you in a minute.

    March 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JohnnyJett

    4 words..... SOAP ON A ROPE 🙂

    March 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lean6

    Here's some more advice, Blago...don't drop the soap.

    March 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DoD Laxman

    Now first thing he needs to do is find the best bungalo and make sure the AC works correctly....if not call maintenance right away! That's what they're paid for. Make sure to stay far away from those who have only got a 4-year school.....those are the trouble makers. When leaving for the weekend make sure you put the key back under the mat.....the guards will get angry and may even take away your rasberry tort for bed time. Don't invite your mistress for the same time as congegal visits with your wife....that won't be pleasant.

    March 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
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