Blagojevich: I’m Ready for Round 2′
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) said Sunday he was ready to call a host of public officials, including President Barack Obama and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, to testify at his retrial on corruption charges.
A federal jury convicted Blagojevich last week on one count of lying to the FBI, deadlocking on the 23 other allegations. The Justice Department had brought in a wide-ranging case against the former governor, including that he tried to sell Obama’s Illinois Senate seat.
The judge has declared a mistrial.
“I’m ready for round 2,” Blagojevich told “Fox News Sunday’s” Chris Wallace. “In the second round, we are going to put a defense on, I’m certain.”
Blagojevich said the witness list could also include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.); Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; and Reps. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) and Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.).
“They should be witnesses at my next trial, and they did nothing wrong either,” he said. “We are going to try and call President Obama again, he did nothing wrong either. They can help prove my innocence and help vindicate me.”
Blagojevich, who was impeached from office in 2009, said he would not rule out a return to politics.
“When I’m vindicated in this case, absolutely I do,” he said. “I’m not ruling myself out of coming back.”
Blagojevich, interviewed by satellite from Chicago, was originally scheduled to be in Fox News’ Washington studio. Instead, the now-unemployed governor opted to do the interview from home so he could attend the Chicago Comic Con event, where he posed for photos and charged $50 for autographs.
“It’s important to earn a living while you are facing these kind of situations, and we are trying to keep our head above water,” he said.