ABC7 Exclusive: Blagojevich talks to Andy Shaw
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich denied the corruption charges against him in an exclusive interview with ABC7 News Friday.
Governor Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell Barack Obama's vacated US Senate seat. And he vows to fight the charges against him. ABC7 political reporter Andy Shaw spoke with the governor Friday.
Governor Blagojevich would seem to be facing some very long odds as he tries to stay out of jail, keep his job and stop the comedians from making him a national joke. But he is still fighting as hard as he can on multiple fronts, beginning with a Springfield strategy to avoid impeachment, by providing his lawyers with a list of 25 accomplishments in six years as governor that -- in his opinion -- made people's lives better, even if he had to battle lawmakers every step of the way to get it done.
Governor Blagojevich left the South Side office of defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. Friday afternoon after spending several hours going over the accomplishments that his legal team will be presenting to the House impeachment committee in Springfield on Monday. After nearly falling on the icy sidewalk, the governor talked to ABC7 about the committee's allegation that he abused and misused his power in office, which is a big part of the impeachment case.
"I think the accomplishments for people speak for themselves. If that's impeachable then I'm on the wrong planet and living in the wrong place," the governor said. "I know what the truth is -- and the truth is, I've done absolutely nothing wrong, and I've done a lot of things right -- even in this process, without saying too much, that was all about trying to end up with the right decision that could do the most things for the people of Illinois. When the full truth is told, you will see precisely that."
Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn said Thursday that Blagojevich is going to be impeached, convicted and thrown out of office, so he should resign or step aside now.
"I think it made it abundantly clear that I have no intention whatsoever of leaving a job the people of Illinois elected me to perform because of false accusations and a political lynch mob," the governor said.
The US attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald, may be giving the impeachment committee some of the secretly recorded FBI audio tapes of Blagojevich's profanity-laced comments about alleged pay-to-play deals, including the appointment of a new US senator to replace President-elect Barack Obama.
Andy Shaw asked the governor if he would be embarrassed to have those profanity-laden tapes played before the committee.
"If I'd have known people were listening, I probably wouldn't have said some of the things you say in private conversations. But I think there is tens of millions of people across America who talk like that from time to time."
Blagojevich and his family spent Christmas Day at home on the city's North Side with a new puppy, a combination poodle and Maltese named "Skittles" that is apparently not as hypoallergenic as the governor thought it would be.
"My eyes were really itchy yesterday. We spent all day at home yesterday on Christmas Day with that dog," said Blagojevich. "I know this: she's our puppy now and she's staying, and if I have problems with my eyes watering, that's something I'm going to have to live with."
So, ironically, an embattled governor who allegedly tried to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat and blistered the president-elect with four letter words when Obama wouldn't play ball, has beaten Obama to the puppy punch.
As for the impeachment hearings, they resume in Springfield on Monday, but there is still no word on whether Pat Fitzgerald is planning to give the committee some audio tapes or if the committee will subpoena advisors Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett as the governor's legal team wants the committee to do.
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