Blagojevich Blasts Impeachment, Reasserts Innocence

Posted January 9, 2009 at 3:40pm

In an unusual press conference Friday afternoon in Chicago, an indignant Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) blasted the General Assembly for moving to impeach him over allegations of corruption.

Blagojevich was arrested in December for allegedly participating in “pay to play” politics, including selling President-elect Barack Obama’s now vacant Senate seat.

Flanked by families of constituents at the press event, Blagojevich boasted of his accomplishments in office and blasted the state House for blocking his agenda to reform health care and provide property tax relief.

“Is that an impeachable defense?” Blagojevich facetiously questioned.

The two-term Democrat specifically referenced the General Assembly’s obstinacy toward his programs, including a statewide prescription drug program brought to him by incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

“But I took actions with the advice of lawyers and experts to find ways, creative ways, to use the executive authority of a governor to get real things done for people who rely on us,” Blagojevich said.

Blagojevich insisted he is not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, quoting a British poet whom Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) cited in his concession speech to then-President Jimmy Carter in 1980 when he lost the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Illinois Senate is scheduled to commence its impeachment trial later this month.