Embattled former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) said Monday he was mourning the loss of his close friend and fundraiser Christopher Kelly, who reportedly committed suicide this weekend -- a death Blagojevich seemed to blame on federal investigators.

"He was a close friend, and I'm mourning his loss," Blagojevich said of Kelly, who was scheduled to begin a jail sentence this week. "I feel a deep sense of sadness about his passing and what happened to him."

But, the governor added: "He took his life because he refused to cooperate with federal authorities, who wanted him to lie about me ... We were going to call him to testify on our behalf. The truth from his point of view was going to be helpful in my case, it would help vindicate me."

Blagojevich never really disappeared from headlines, but he's recently returned to the forefront of the news cycle with the release of his book, "The Governor." In it, he argues he was merely trying to use his state's open Senate seat as leverage to create new jobs and prevent a future tax hike.

When Fox News asked the former governor during his interview on Monday whether that politicking was illegal, Blagojevich suggested other lawmakers have acted similarly in the past.

"I could have named my wife if I wanted to," Blagojevich said of his Senate appointment, adding that his team had looked into such possibilities as Oprah and Valerie Jarrett. "Look at what Gov. [Charlie] Crist (R) did in Florida -- he put his chief of staff in there to hold the seat warm for him so he could run for the U.S. Senate. I didn't do any of those things."