Rod Blagojevich stood before the Judge and said the following (the Judge looked directly at Blagojevich as he spoke):
NOTE***this is not a transcript but rather from my notes -there may be missing words but the gist is accurate.
I felt this statement was heartfelt and sincere. This was as genuine as I have seen Rod Blagojevich and I missed only one day of each trial.
Rod Blagojevich statement before Judge Zagel: I want to thank your Honor for giving me the opportunity to speak. I have a tendency to speak before I think. I have had plenty of time to think. After all that has happened to me.
I stand before you convicted of a crime. The jury decided that I was guilty. I am accepting of the verdict. I accept it and I am unbelievably sorry. I have made my shares of mistakes that have caused the jury's decision and all the rest. I made mistakes - terrible -mistakes and I apologize to the people of Illinois, your Honor and the court for all the mistakes I have made.
I honestly believe I never set out to break the law or cross lines. There is a line between political horsetrading and campaign funds. It was always my intention - back in 2008- to be on the right side of the law. I thought things were permissible. The jury convicted me because those were my actions. I talked about doing things and discussed in conversations- I caused it all. I"m not blaming anyone. I was the Governor and cause it all and I am so incredibly sorry.
I fought hard hard and believed in what I was doing. I apologize for trying my case in the media. I meant no disrespect to the Judge. I apologize to the prosecutors. I saws it as a dual, a boxing match. I saw it that way. (spoke about Alexander Hamilton in duels)
I am accustomed to fighting back and I did. It was childish and not productive.
You heard conversations on those tapes.- (he then alluded to being childish, petty, selfish, self-absorbed). I am guilty.
I apologize for profanity. It's not the kind of talk that should come from a Governor.
I apologize to my brother and his family. That I got him involved. He had a happy world that dramatically changed (because of me.)
I would like to help explain where I am coming from. How this evolved in my mind.
I was hopeful that things would turn out the other way. When the Jury reached their decision - it was in the other direction.
I told Amy I had done something wrong and I told her how you can make good out of a catastrophe.
She inspired me- if you stand up for what you believe in . My belief that this was The fight - a life lesson. You have to face adversity the best you can.
After Jury (verdict) all I could think about was how quickly I could get home for the kids and how to go forward.
The media surrounded our house - there were throngs of media. Both children were upset. Annie who was 8 then was crying and it didn't take much to settle her down.
But the challenge was with my daughter Amy. She is a teenager - 15. She is a heroine. As hard as it is for her - she is old enough to remember life when I was Governor. All has changed.
She was upset. Crying. Defiant. Patti and I explained that everything is different now. Now I am a dad bragging her - my daughter is number two in her class. She is an inspiration to me. We talked about how th jury found me guilty and I am convicted of a crime. My daughter didn't want to accept it. She said "go outside and tell the media you didn't do it." I explained I had a trial. Twice. And the decision went the other way and that I was guilty. The fight is over and we need to accept this. I needed to accept this. I couldn't go out and tell the press.
I apologize to her as i did when all this happened. This wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been in this position. I hoped i hadn't let her down.
I began to process a new reality. If I can accept as I must and should that's...?
We have been working through acceptance of it. My final apology is to my family.
My life is in ruin. My political life os over. I can't practice law. I can't afford my home. If it were only me it would be very bad. But worse because we have kids.
I want to apologize to my wife. She has stood by me in good times and bad. She has been a wonderful loving mother.
I want to apologize to my children.
When I was elected in 2002, I made a decision not to move to Springfield. Who wouldn't like a 50,000 square foot mansion - Lincoln stayed there.
All things considered, we wanted our daughters not to be the Governor's kids. We wanted to protect them form the rough and tumble world.
We wanted kids not to be princesses. We decided to live in our home and take the flak. It all came crashing down in our home.
I have no one to blame but myself. For my stupidity, my action, my words.
I am not blaming anybody. I accepted all of it. I was mistaken. I thought things were permissible. The jury made it abundantly clear they were not.
I jeopardized my ability to protect my children. I was criticized a lot that I was not in Springfield a lot.
Now I have put all that in jeopardy as well as because of my stupidity- my mistakes. That my children have to suffer. I have taken their innocence. They have to face their friend who know their father is a convicted felon. And my name is not Smith. They cannot hide.
I accept the jury's verdict. They found me guilty. I never wanted to hurt anyone - especially Children's Memorial Hospital.
I stand before you now as a person convicted of crimes and hope you can find some mercy from all that you have heard.