Blagojevich won't quit, pledges fight

December 19, 2008 12:40:31 PM PST
In an unwavering statement of innocence, Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Friday he will be vindicated of criminal corruption charges and has no intention of letting what he called a "political lynch mob" force him from his job. "I will fight. I will fight. I will fight until I take my last breath. I have done nothing wrong," Blagojevich said in his first official public comments since his arrest last week on federal corruption charges.

The Democrat is accused, among other things, of plotting to sell or trade President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat.

"I'm not going to quit a job the people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob," Blagojevich said.

Blagojevich had been itching to talk, even though his attorney Ed Genson didn't like the idea.

Genson has said he plans to challenge the court-ordered wiretaps at the heart of the allegations against Blagojevich. Genson called the wiretaps inappropriate, if not illegal.

Genson said he expects a federal grand jury to indict his client, which likely would unseal many of the documents supporting the charges.

The governor is also accused of trying to strong-arm the Chicago Tribune into firing editorial writers who criticized him, and pressuring a hospital executive for campaign donations.