Blagojevich Says He's Fighting for Illinoisans

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Friday that if what he's done as Illinois governor is an impeachable offense, he's living on the "wrong planet" and is in the "wrong place."

Speaking to a WLS-TV reporter outside a Chicago law office, the governor said he was hired to fight for the people of Illinois and that's what he's been doing.

"If somehow that's impeachable then I'm on the wrong planet and I'm living in the wrong place," Blagojevich said.

The interview marked the first time Blagojevich has spoken to the media since giving a defiant three-minute speech last Friday in which he said he'll fight the forces against him until he takes his last breath.

The 52-year-old Democrat is charged with scheming to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Federal prosecutors built their case against the governor using wiretapped conversations riddled with profanity.

"Look, if I'd have known people were listening I probably wouldn't have said some of the things you say in private conversations," Blagojevich said Friday. "But I think there's probably tens of millions of people across America who talk like that from time to time."

Blagojevich has ignored ongoing calls to step down. He spoke Friday as the committee of legislators investigating whether he should be impeached prepared to reconvene in Springfield Monday. The group's chair, state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, said Friday that members were "still doing due diligence."

The governor's attorney, Ed Genson, said he will provide the committee with a list of 25 of Blagojevich's accomplishments that will render the idea of impeachment ridiculous, according to WLS-TV. Blagojevich said the wiretap recordings show him working for the people of the state.

"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, and when the full truth is told, you will see precisely that," Blagojevich said.

Currie's committee has yet to rule on a request from Genson to subpoena incoming Obama chief of staff Rep. Rahm Emanuel, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and more than a dozen others, including Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Genson has said that their testimony would also prove Blagojevich's innocence.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said earlier this week that lawmakers' interviews of current or former members of Blagojevich's staff might jeopardize his criminal investigation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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