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Gov. Rod Blagojevich Delivers Remarks at Impeachment Trial

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Thursday, January 29, 2009; 3:12 PM

SPEAKER: GOV. ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, D-ILL.

[*] BLAGOJEVICH: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, thank you very much. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here today and present my closing argument, my chance to be able to talk to you, talk to the people of Illinois, and talk to anybody else who is listening. I had the last couple of days -- I've had a chance to be able to go out and talk to as many people as I possibly could about my desire to be able to appear here before the Senate, the Senate trial, and have a chance to be able to tell the whole story, have every single witness I could possibly bring be able to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, present as much evidence that's available to be able to have the whole story told, and have a chance to be able to show you, here in the Senate, show the people of Illinois, and show anybody else who's listening that I have done absolutely nothing wrong. That I followed every law, that I never, ever intended to violate any law, and that when the whole truth is heard, and the whole story is told, that's ultimately is what will be shown.

I was hopeful that I'd have a chance to be able to do that in a Senate hearing in this trial, a chance to be able to bring witnesses in, a whole list of witnesses. Every single witness in the criminal complaint. It would have been nice to have them here so they could tell the truth and tell you, under oath, what they know.

I wanted to be able to bring in witnesses from Rahm Emanuel, the president's chief of staff, to Senator Dick Durbin, to Senator Harry Reid and Bob Menendez, to every single person connected with any conversation I may have had in relation to picking the United States senator. Unfortunately, these rules have prevented me from being able to do that.

And in spite of efforts to try to get you to give me that chance to do it, it didn't work. So I went to the people, talked to as many people as I possibly could. And I was over and over repeating to them, "Just give me a chance to be able to let the truth come out, so sooner, rather than later, I can show you I've done nothing wrong, so sooner, rather than later, I can clear my name, and we can put this behind us and get on with working to do things for people." Get on with the business of the people.

Now, when I did that, and met a lot of different people, and made that case to them, they were mostly sympathetic. They understood my position. They said, of course you're entitled to a fair trial. Every American citizen is. Of course you're entitled to bring witnesses in so you can disprove things that are being said about you and show that they're not true. Of course you're entitled to confront your accusers.


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