All smiles from former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich as he spoke to the media Wednesday morning -- his first day of freedom since his prison term began eight years ago.
Now an ex-con, Blagojevich thanked President Trump for commuting his 14-year prison sentence.
"Again on behalf of my family, we wanted to expand our profoundest gratitude to President Trump. It's been a long, unhappy journey," said Blagojevich.
Blagojevich -- speaking to a packed sidewalk outside his northwest Chicago home. Supporters and protesters alike -- joined by dozens of news cameras and reporters. In the crowd, blown-up pictures of the former governor, and even a man where a Rod Blagojevich mask, holding signs from his 2006 re-election campaign.
The former governor answered very few questions from the media -- instead speaking at length about criminal justice reform. He sees himself as one many people -- wronged by a corrupt system.
"Equal protection under the law does not exist, wildly unfair disparities in sentencing for the same or similar cases are not uncommon and defy common sense," he added.
Blagojevich was convicted in 2011 for trying to sell the senate seat left vacant by then president elect Barack Obama. Even now, he continues to deny any wrongdoing.
"I wanna sat again to the people of Illinois who voted twice to elect me governor, I didn't let you down, I would have let you down if I gave into this, but resistance to tyrants is obedience to God," said Blagojevich.
One person we heard very little from was the former Illinois governor's wife, Patti Blagojevich, she did not answer any questions from the media, instead sometimes smiling at her husband and talking with him in private.