The Upshot

Blagojevich threatens a political comeback

Holly Bailey
The Upshot

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Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Sunday he's not ruling out a return to politics should federal prosecutors fail to convict him in a second trial on corruption charges.

"My adult life was serving the people as a congressman, as a governor. It's what I know," Blagojevich said on "Fox News Sunday." "I'm not ruling myself out as coming back, because I will be vindicated in this case. I'm significantly closer to vindication than I ever was."

Last week, Blagojevich was convicted of lying to federal agents when they interviewed him about his role in naming a replacement to President Obama's old Senate seat. But a jury considering the case deadlocked on 23 other more serious charges, including the allegation that he had tried to sell the Senate seat to the highest bidder.

He now faces a retrial, but Blagojevich insisted to Fox he will be cleared of all the charges. "I didn't lie to the FBI. And I'm not lying to you, and I'm not lying to the people," the embattled former governor said.

Blagojevich told Fox that he plans to mount a more aggressive defense in his second trial, this time calling to the stand White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and other players who had been originally subpoenaed in the first trial but ultimately didn't testify. "I'm ready for round two," Blagojevich said.

His comments came just a day after Blagojevich made a surprise appearance at Chicago's Comic Con, where he charged patrons $50 for an autograph and $80 for a photo. He told Fox's Chris Wallace that it's one of the few ways he's able to make money. "(Federal prosecutors) squeeze you and your family from being able to make a living," he said. "Part of this battle that I'm in, this war that I'm in, is that I have to make a living for my little girls, my wife."

(Photo of Blagojevich by John Gress/Getty Images)

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