Rod Blagojevich asks full court to hear appeal: ‘I must fight on’

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CHICAGO — Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked a full appellate court in Chicago to rehear his appeal after three judges recently overturned five of his 18 corruption convictions.

The imprisoned Democrat's lawyers filed the request Tuesday with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Read the appeal here.

The three-judge panel threw out convictions linked to Blagojevich's attempt to land a post in President Barack Obama's Cabinet in exchange for appointing an Obama adviser to the president's old U.S. Senate seat.

It also ordered that the 58-year-old be resentenced. But the ruling said the original 14-year sentence might be considered fair even after subtracting the five overturned counts. So, Blagojevich's chances of a drastically reduced sentence seem slim.

Blagojevich is hoping the full court will overturn more counts. Full-court hearings aren't granted automatically.

Also on Tuesday, Blagojevich released his first public statement since entering a federal prison more than three years ago to begin a 14 year sentence:

"It has been almost three and a half years since I left home and reported to prison. These have been hard years for my family---for our children and for my wife, Patti, and me. Yet we continue to have faith in the truth; in the righteousness of our cause; in the rule of law and in America; in each other; and, most of all, in God. There is nothing I desire more than to return home to my wife and two young daughters. I cherish them more than anything in the world. I wish this was over. But I must fight on. What is at stake is nothing less than the rule of law. I urge the media and the public to please read the court filing carefully. Fundraising is a part of the job of every politician. The jury instructions used to convict me in my case are not the law. It makes the standard so low that any politician can be jailed at the whim of an ambitious prosecutor. That standard is wrong and needs to be corrected."

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