Lawyer Urges Blagojevich to "Fight On" After Appeals Court Ruling | NBC Chicago
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Lawyer Urges Blagojevich to "Fight On" After Appeals Court Ruling

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    Former governor Rod Blagojevich got bad news Tuesday from the court which has been considering his appeal for the last 18 months. NBC Chicago's Phil Rogers reports. (Published Tuesday, July 21, 2015)

    The lawyer for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich called a federal appeals court decision Tuesday to overturn five of 18 convictions against Blagojevich "improper" and urged Blagojevich to "fight on."

    "It is not justice in my view," Len Goodman, Blagojevich's lawyer, said in a press conference following the decision.

    Goodman insisted that Blagojevich followed the rules and that the courts made "serious errors." He compared Blagojevich to Jesse Jackson Jr., saying the former governor never misused campaign funds and always paid for his personal belongings himself unlike Jackson.

    "This case is different. This case is about politics," Goodman said. "Mr. Blagojevich tried to follow the rules as he understood it, and the jury should have been allowed to hear that defense."

    Goodman filed an appeal on Blagojevich's behalf in 2013 as Blagojevich served his 14-year sentence in a Colorado prison. On Tuesday, a federal appeals court overturned five convictions relating to negotiations for a cabinet job in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to President Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat.

    Patti Blagojevich, the wife of the former governor, and her daughters joined Goodman in the press conference and maintained their conviction in Blagojevich's innocence. While the court's decision is not a victory for the family, they showed some of what Patti Blagojevich calls her husband's "eternal optimism."

    "I have not spoken to the governor, but he has options," Goodman said. "We can ask the full court to look at the case, we can ask the U.S. Supreme Court to look at the case. We can do both. My advice to him is that we should fight on."

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