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Blagojevich appears on Jon Stewart's show

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Gov. Rod Blagojevich

(AP) (AP Photo / AP)

Despite goading from "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich declined Monday night to promise to testify if he is retried on corruption charges.

Blagojevich appeared on Stewart's TV show on Comedy Central as part of a new media blitz after a mostly deadlocked jury convicted him on just one of 24 counts last week. He continued to proclaim his innocence and to attack what he said was the weak case of federal prosecutors.

Blagojevich did not testify during his two-and-a-half month trial, and Stewart repeatedly reminded the impeached governor of earlier promises to take the stand. Stewart challenged Blagojevich to make good on that boast.

"You're a guy that's the most adamant about his innocence of anyone I ever met, so you're either the victim of a terrible persecution or you're a sociopath," Stewart said. "I want to believe you're not a sociopath, so you have to come out - and not on talk shows - in a court of law, and clear your name. You have to."

In response, Blagojevich said only that he would have a "chance" to do that in a retrial.

Jurors convicted Blagojevich last Tuesday of lying to the FBI. Prosecutors have said they will retry him on the 23 other counts, including the accusation that the former Democratic governor schemed to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

Blagojevich told Stewart on Monday that nine of the witnesses who testified for the federal government had either admitted committing crimes or had been found guilty and were vulnerable to prosecution threats to lengthen their possible sentences.

"They charged me with political horse trading," Blagojevich said of the prosecutors. "They ought to charge themselves with crimes and throw another count of hypocrisy in there."

(Copyright ©2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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