In a second trial on corruption charges, the defense may call Washington officials like White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Sunday.
Blagojevich said he talked plenty with several Washington bigwigs about political horse-trading when he was responsible for filling the Senate seat vacated by President Obama, but none did anything wrong.
"In the second round, we're going to put a defense on, I'm certain. And in that particular case, you know, we're going to call witnesses like Rahm Emanuel, Senator Harry Reid, Senator (Robert) Menendez, Congressman (Jesse) Jackson, Congressman (Jerry) Costello, and a host of other leading Democrats who were involved in this process to try to make a decision on who the next senator should be," he told "Fox News Sunday."
Blagojevich said he didn't call them to his defense in his first trial because he didn't put on a defense, but they may not be off the hook next time.
"I'm going to do what I did in the first trial, which is work with my lawyers and see how things unfold. We're prepared to call them as witnesses, like we were the first time. And I'm eager to testify, like I was the first time," Blagojevich said. "If we put on a defense and properly explain these things, the jury will see it's exactly about what it is, political horse-trading."
Blagojevich said that his defense "intended to call all those people" during the first trial on 24 counts of corruption, but he made the decision to rest his case after the "government failed to prove their case."
He also argued that none of those who could be called have much to worry about.
"If they tell the truth, they've done nothing wrong and I've done nothing wrong," he said.
Blagojevich was convicted on just one of those 24 counts -- making false statements to the FBI. The jury was hung on the other 23 counts by 11-1.
Blagojevich said that outcome proves his innocence despite plans by federal prosecutors to retry the case.
He added that the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, was just interested in a show trial that has wasted millions in taxpayer dollars.
"The idea that your tax dollars and mine are being spent on questions like that I think ought to raise questions. And those questions should be posed to the prosecutors who are persecuting me," he said.
Blagojevich, who had been expected to appear live from Washington, D.C., answered questions from Chicago, where he had spent the previous day at Chicago's Comic Con, comic book convention. There he signed autographs for $50 a piece.
The former governor said taking photos is not a way to earn a living, but he has to do so because the Feds "squeeze you and your family to keep you from being able to earn a living ... And so part of this battle that I'm in, this war that I'm in, is also one where I have to make a living for my little girls, my daughters and for my wife."