Blagojevich Remains Defiant, Issues 22 Pardons

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Blagojevich: I’m not guilty – Speech

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Anyone who witnessed Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s defiant and “combative” statement on Friday could see that not only is he not giving in to public pressure — he is not going down without a fight.

Facing federal corruption charges that threaten to end his political career, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has made clear to the world what those close to him know well: He’s not one to be easily fazed.

“I have done nothing wrong. And I’m not going to quit a job that people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob,” a composed yet combative Blagojevich said Friday, addressing the public for the first time since his arrest 10 days earlier.

“I will fight. I will fight. I will fight until I take my last breath,” Blagojevich said. He took no questions from reporters and immediately left the room after wishing his listeners, “Merry Christmas, happy holidays.”

The 52-year-old Democrat’s uncompromising pledge comes as little surprise to those who know him, but doesn’t necessarily resonate.

  Yeah, “resonate” is not the word I would use. More like “scary” or “entirely off-putting”. And neither government officials — nor the public at large — supports him.

Blagojevich appears to have no political support, the Illinois House having voted 113-0 last week to assemble an impeachment committee, and his ability to govern has been crippled.

Still, following his appearance, Blagojevich issued 22 pardons. Aides wouldn’t provide any information about why he granted the pardons, or what crimes the people were accused of committing, but the move served as reminder of the governor’s authority.

And, just like that, he issues almost two dozen pardons — to prove his “authority”?

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Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

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Blagojevich is going to have a tough time ahead. His credibility is shot and, despite his belief and “personal knowledge that [he has] not done anything wrong”, he simply isn’t trusted.

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