He's been on a media tour to resuscitate his reputation and now former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich opens up to ABC News Chief Investigative Brian Ross about how he passed his time behind bars: doing push-ups.
"My triceps got bigger," Blagojevich says on this week's episode of "Brian Ross Investigates." The cell was so small, he says, that you have to do them close together, and so the benefit is they are harder to do but they work your triceps better."
The conversation is part of an extended interview between Ross and Blagojevich, in which the politician-turned-reality TV star also says that investigators tried to convince him to offer damaging information on "folks in higher places" in exchange for lenience.
Last week a jury found Blagojevich guilty on only one of 24 counts: lying to federal agents. The panel could not find any agreement on any of the corruption charges, including the most sensational government claim that he attempted to cash-in the senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama for a new job or campaign contributions.
Also on today's episode of "Brian Ross Investigates," Ross looks back at crime and corruption in New Orleans and how it's improved in the five years after Hurricane Katrina.
John Casbon, who founded the local nonprofit justice group New Orleans Police Foundation, tells Ross the Big Easy has completely overhauled its criminal justice system, in the wake of a series of allegations of police misconduct. Eighteen current or former officers have been charged with killing innocent civilians or with covering up the crime. Five have pleaded guilty, and ongoing federal investigations are expected to bring even more indictments.
Former New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan, who resigned from his position a year after Ross questioned him in 2006 about a serious backlog in prosecution, declined to be on the program, saying, "Brian Ross can go to hell, and I hope he has a good time down there."
In another segment, former White House national security advisor Richard Clarke, now an ABC News consultant, joins Ross via Skype to discuss reports this week that the CIA now sees al Qaeda offshoots in Yemen, not the core al Qaeda nucleus in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden and Aylman al Zawahiri are believed hiding, as most threatening to U.S. national security.
"The government of Yemen has little control over vast stretches of this very large country," Clarke says, "And so al Qaeda can operate with sympathizers with the local people in areas of the country where the government cannot go."
Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, has been increasingly identified as a haven for terrorists, especially with the presence of Anwar Al-Awlaki. The American-born radical Muslim cleric has been on the run since late last year after being linked with Major Nidal Hasan of the Fort Hood massacre and accused Christmas Day bomber Omar Farouq Abdulmutallab.
To join in on the discussion and be part of the show, follow Brian Ross on Twitter at @BrianRoss, the Investigative Team at @ABCNewsBlotter, and on Facebook (ABC News Investigative Team).