Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich blamed federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald for the suicide of his friend Christopher Kelly and likened the attorney’s tactics to those used by a Soviet spy service in an interview with the Washington Times’ American Morning News on Tuesday.
U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald has accused the governor of engaging in a “political corruption crime spree” and had him arrested last year in order, he said, to stop him from selling President Obama’s vacated Senate seat. Mr. Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office by the Illinois legislature in January, but has maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings.
When asked how he felt about Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Blagojevich said he was holding him personally responsible for the suicide of his former fundraiser Kelly who was also charged in the corruption case. “His allegations are false, flat out false and his tactics, his tactics are very, very much open to question,” Mr. Blagojevich said. “Somebody now has taken his life because the pressure he felt to lie about me.”
The former governor also said he believed the government was clamping down on Antonin “Tony” Rezko like the KGB in order to get him to reveal information.
“Rezko wrote a letter to a federal judge saying he was being pressured to lie about me and Barack Obama,” Mr. Blagojevich said. “In the letter, he said there was no wrong doing with either me or President Barack Obama.”
Now that Mr. Rezko is in jail, Mr. Blagojevich said he feared that law enforcement has too much ability to pressure him and likened their tactics to the KGB.
“He’s been squeezed and as a result of sitting in a jail cell for 23 out of 24 hours a day he’s now apparently changing his story about me,” Mr. Blagojevich said. “So I would suggest that people take a look at the tactics.”
“This is not what America is supposed to be,” he added. “I write that in my book. Where is the check and balance on this? My dad fled Communism because he wanted to live in a free country. Those are the tactics of the KGB. That is not what our Founding Fathers envisioned. I’m fighting not just for me and my family and my little girls and the truth, I’m also fighting for our country and the principles of our country and the principles of our country where the government can so oppressively go after you and use all these resources and terrorize people. That is not how it is supposed to be.”
Mr. Blagojevichs formal trial is scheduled to begin on June 3.