Governor launches media blitz

Blagojevich: 'They're hanging me'
January 25, 2009 7:44:30 AM PST
During a news conference that wrapped up Friday afternoon, Governor Blagojevich complained that his constitutional rights are being trampled by Senate rules.The two-term governor faces a Senate impeachment trial next week that will determine if he will keep his job. The impeachment trial, which will be shown live on ABC7Chicago.com, begins Monday. Blagojevich has called the trial unfair and said he has done nothing wrong.

Blagojevich spent more time talking to the media Friday than he has in the entire six weeks since his arrest. However, he was still refusing to answer specific questions about whether he tried to trade a Senate seat for personal gain. Instead, the governor has a new strategy, one that may appeal to people's pocketbooks.

Governor Blagojevich ended his media blitz with Cliff Kelley at WVON. On air, the governor slammed the rules for next week's Senate impeachment trial.

"The only thing I'm asking the Senate to do is to give me the same fundamental fairness that they would expect for themselves. Give me the right to challenge the evidence, and give me the right to call witnesses in," said Blagojevich.

He wants witnesses like White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Presidential Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

But the U.S. attorney has asked state legislators to exclude them in the impeachment process because they're part of the fed's criminal case against the governor.

Blagojevich is also upset that he can not challenge the impeachment charges against him.

"Part of what the Senate is doing is fundamentally unfair. They are not allowing him to attack the credibility of much of the information," said Harold Krent, Dean of Kent College of Law.

So, with few legal options, the governor's media blitz started Friday morning at WLS-AM, followed by a news conference.

"If they can do this to a governor, they can do this to any citizen in Illinois," said Blagojevich.

He also called on Chicago's newspapers to write editorials, supporting his views.

"If he thinks it will be worthwhile to have the Tribune look at the issue, I'm glad for that. We just reached a different conclusion from the one he has reached. We think it'll be a fair trial," said John McCormick, Chicago Tribune.

In the meantime, supporters flooded the airwaves on Friday night, defending and thanking him for his service.

"This is a lynching. I hope you fight this all the way," said Angel, WVON caller.

Senator Matt Murphy of Rules Committee for the impeachment trial emphasized that the governor has a right to call as many witness as he likes as long as they're not part of the criminal trial against him.

For more information on the Senate impeachment rules, visit http://www.ilga.gov/senate/ImpeachDocuments.asp.


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