Blagojevich rules out plea deal if tried again

* Blagojevich says would consider another reality TV show

* Former governor questions “people I put faith in”

NEW YORK, Aug 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Former Illinois Governor Rod
Blagojevich remained defiant and unrepentant in a television
interview on Friday, saying he would change very little about
the events that led to his conviction on one of 24 federal
corruption counts.

The allegations against the Democrat included an attempt to
sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

In an interview with NBC television’s “Today” show,
Blagojevich ruled out seeking a plea deal with federal
prosecutors if they pursue a new trial as expected. He also
held out the possibility of making another appearance on a
reality show to pay for his defense.

“No, I am absolutely very determined to continue to seek
vindication, full vindication. I have done absolutely nothing
wrong,” Blagojevich said when asked if he would seek a plea
deal.

A jury on Tuesday found Blagojevich guilty on one count of
making false statements to federal officials but was unable to
reach a unanimous verdict on 23 other counts because one juror
refused to vote for the corruption charges including
racketeering, conspiracy, mail fraud and attempted extortion.

Asked what he would change if he could alter the past,
Blagojevich said, “Certain people that I put faith in and
trusted, advisers and different people.”

Prosecutors said he and his aides operated the state as a
money machine by wringing campaign donations out of people
doing business with the state.

Blagojevich said he was merely engaging in “political horse
trading” and “brainstorming” with lawyers and advisers.

“They are trying to criminalize political behavior and in
any case there was no behavior, there was strictly discussion
and ideas flowing openly with lawyers and advisers with no
intent whatsoever to commit any crimes,” Blagojevich said.

While awaiting trial, the former governor appeared on the
reality television show “Celebrity Apprentice.” Blagojevich
said he might take another similar role once again.

“If the opportunities are there, I would certainly take a
look at it, of course,” he said.

Blagojevich’s wife, Patti, also appeared on the reality
show “I’m a Celebrity — Get me Out of Here!”
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Bill Trott)

Blagojevich rules out plea deal if tried again