BLAGOJEVICH CLAIMS HE’LL BE ‘VINDICATED’…. Gov. Rod Blagojevich has barely uttered a public word since his arrest 10 days ago, but he held an event in Chicago this afternoon. Regrettably, he did not break his silence to announce his resignation, but rather, to profess his innocence.

“I will fight, I will fight, I will fight until I take my last breath. I have done nothing wrong,” Blagojevich said in a brief news conference. “I am not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing.”

There were, as one might imagine, quite a few reporters on hand for the governor’s comments, but Blagojevich did not take questions from reporters.

As for the prospect of resigning, the governor said, “I’m not going to quit a job that people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob.” He added that he has “powerful” forces against him, but he has “the truth,” which is the “most powerful ally.”

After quoting Kipling at some length, Blagojevich said he is “absolutely certain” that he “will be vindicated.”

He also appealed to Illinois voters, urging them to “patient,” and asking that they “afford me the same rights that you and your children have. The presumption of innocence. The right to defend yourself.” Blagojevich added that he is “dying” to respond to the accusations, but he said he’d reserve his defense for the “appropriate” setting, which in this case “isn’t ‘Meet the Press’ or the news,” but rather “a court of law.”

I don’t imagine his remarks today are going to change a lot of minds, but the statement does tell us that if Blagojevich is going to go, state lawmakers are going to have to impeach him.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.