Rod Blagojevich's remarks to U.S. District Judge James Zagel:
On accepting responsibility
I'm here convicted of crimes. The jury decided I was guilty. I am accepting of it. I acknowledge it and I, of course, am unbelievably sorry for it. I want to apologize to the people of Illinois, to the court, for the mistakes I have made.
I never set out to break the law. I never set out to cross lines.
My life is ruined … I have nobody to blame but myself for my stupidity and actions. … I'm not blaming anybody. I have accepted responsibility for it.
On his belief that his actions were lawful
I thought they were permissible. I was mistaken. The jury convicted me, and they convicted me because those were my actions. … I am responsible. I caused it all. I'm not blaming anybody. I was the governor and I should have known better. And I am just so incredibly sorry.
On his public campaign to discredit the charges
I want to apologize to you, judge, for fighting the charges in the media. … I also want to apologize for challenging the prosecutors. … I was keen on your comments yesterday that I saw this as a duel, as a boxing match. I saw it exactly that way. (He then noted how he loved history and romanticized his plight as akin to the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.) I am accustomed to fighting back, and I did and it was inappropriate. It was childish and not productive.
On the way he sounded on government wiretaps
That's not the kind of talk that should come from a governor. Childish, immature things, ugly and petty things, self-centered and self-absorbed things.
On his brother, Robert, who as finance chairman of Blagojevich's campaign was originally charged with the former governor
I want to apologize to my brother. …
He had a happy, quiet, successful life in Nashville, and he came up here to help his little brother, and that happy world was dramatically changed for several years for him.
On the impact on his family
I promised my older daughter, Amy, three years ago, I told her I didn't believe I had done anything wrong and was going to fight as hard as I could.
It turned out my belief was incredibly wrong.
(After he was found guilty) she was very upset and defiant. … My daughter didn't want to accept it. … I asked her not to be ashamed of me.
I had to explain to my daughter that I had my trials — twice — and the decision of the jury went another way, and I was under the law guilty of these crimes and the fight was over and I needed to accept this.
I have no one to blame but myself for my stupidity and actions and the words and things I thought I could do. I am not blaming anybody.
My children have had to suffer. I've ruined their innocence. … It's not like their name is Smith. They can't hide. I have nobody to blame …
(apology to Patti)
I love her. She's stood by me in the worst of times and not only the best of times.
On his guilt
I accept the people's verdict, judge. They found me guilty. All I can say is I never wanted to hurt anyone, most of all Children's Memorial Hospital. I am before you now as a person convicted of crimes. … I would hope you could find some mercy.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun