Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in an argumentative round of talk with CNN’ Anderson Copper declared himself a political prisoner. The former governor was talking about the substantial evidence used by prosecutors to convict him in an array of corruption charges.
Blagojevich’s sentence was scaled down following a Presidential decree earlier this week. The Democrat and former “Celebrity Apprentice contestant had already served 8 of his 14 years behind the bars for pay-for-play crimes.
The former politician on Friday vehemently scolded critics of his commutation who seemed quick to point out his wrongdoings.
“I don’t think they’ve looked carefully because I am a political prisoner,” he said.
The famed-anchor then contested Blagojevich’s claim saying that Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa who served the rigorous 27 years jail-term for fighting discrimination and apartheid was a political prisoner.
To this, the Democrat responded: “If you were to ask Nelson Mandela whether he thought the process was fair back in the early 60s in South Arica, he would say what I’m saying today.”
At one point of their conversation, the recently evicted offender held a handful of corrupt prosecutors for his sentence.
“They are controlled and they are the ones Chief Justice Breyer talked about when he said our country is in trouble because of these uncontrolled prosecutors who can do just about anything they want to do and are using their power to go after government officials for what are – what he called routine practices, and that’s what I went to prison for.”
During his notorious tenure the governor was charged with corruption and subsequently faced impeachment by the state Legislature in 2009. He was indicted for trying to solicit money for an appointment to former President Obama’s US Senate seat after his successful bid to the White House. He was also charged for being involved in a plunder in children’s hospital and having swindled money from a racetrack owner and building executive.
He initially almost eloped in face of a hung jury at 11 to 1 for the conviction on multiple accounts of corruption but the prosecutors tried again to eventually recording successful convictions on 17 of 20 counts of corruption.
Friday’s interview went wayward when Blagojevich argued that he was nabbed after the prosecutors misled the jury about his actions.
“You are the one who has actually been convicted of lying to the FBI, though, by that very same jury,” said Cooper. “The very argument you are making right now… it was heard in the courtroom and no one bought it.”
The CNN Jurno summed up Friday’s episode by assessing that the former governor of Illinois had created a whole new alternate universe of facts and that may be big in politics today, but it’s still, frankly, just bullshit. We got to leave it there.”
“Well, no, it’s not bullshit. I lived it myself,” Blagojevich remarked without any wait. “It’s not bullshit at all.”