Blagojevich media frenzy continues

August 23, 2010 9:25:07 AM PDT
Former governor Rod Blagojevich said he won't rule out running for another public office as he continues his media blitz.The latest stop on his media tour has him making an appearance Monday on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Blagojevich was convicted last week of lying to federal agents-- but jurors were deadlocked on 23 other counts.

During an appearance on Fox News Sunday the former governor hinted that he's not ruling out trying to make a political comeback if he's not convicted of more crimes as his second trial.

When talk show host Chris Wallace asked Blagojevich if he would run for office again, he answered, "If you're asking me, do I believe that there's a potential political comeback in the future, when I'm vindicated in this case, absolutely I do."

But it won't be in Illinois. Lawmakers barred Blagojevich from ever holding a statewide office again when he was impeached by the state legislature.

Blagojevich's appearance on the talk show was part of a media blitz that began Friday when he appeared on NBC's "Today" show. The appearances seem intended to appeal, at least in part, to anyone who might end up on a second jury.

It was widely believed that media appearances Blagojevich made before his first trial, including on the "The Celebrity Apprentice" reality show, were attempts to influence potential jurors.

Blagojevich appeared on "Fox News Sunday" by video feed from Chicago. Wallace noted that Blagojevich originally was supposed to be in the studio in Washington with him but had stayed in Chicago to appear at a comics convention where he posed for photographs and signed autographs.

Blagojevich said he needed the $50 he received for each autograph to support his family. But he also said it was "a way to get out among the people ," presumably including some who could be on another jury.

The former governor repeatedly insisted that he had been involved in nothing more than "political horse trading" and that he didn't try to trade political appointments and other favors for campaign contributions. But when Wallace pressed him, asking whether he had talked about getting money from U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s supporters before appointing Jackson to the Senate, Blagojevich sidestepped the question.

"My brother very clearly said we -- money will have nothing to do with this decision," he said.

Blagojevich's older brother, Robert Blagojevich, a Nashville, Tenn., businessman, was charged with him. The 23 counts on which jurors deadlocked included four involving Robert Blagojevich.

As he did before his first trial, Blagojevich said he would testify and that his attorneys would call a number of prominent Democrats, including White House adviser Rahm Emmanuel and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

But when Wallace noted that a similar defense had been promised but not delivered during the first trial, Blagojevich backed off and stopped short of promising to testify.

"I'm going to do what I did in the first trial, which is work with my lawyers and see how things unfold," he said.

A federal judge has scheduled a Thursday hearing to decide the manner and timing of a retrial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.


Load Comments