Blagojevich trial

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Blagojevich Demands Yet Another Trial

Says judge was biased against him

(Newser) - Rod Blagojevich isn’t going away that easily. The ex-governor is demanding yet another trial, arguing that the judge was biased, and “deprived Blagojevich of the presumption of innocence,” the Chicago Tribune reports. The 158-page filing details a host of perceived injustices, from jury selection up through Blagojevich’... More »

Blagojevich: 'I, Frankly, Am Stunned' by Verdict

But in an uncharacteristic move, he has little else to say

(Newser) - A classic response from Rod Blagojevich following his conviction on 17 out of 20 charges yesterday: “I, frankly, am stunned,” he said outside the courtroom. But he has, at least, learned something from the experience, Politico reports: namely, that he should "try to speak a little bit... More »

Blagojevich Guilty on 17 of 20 Charges

Could be facing some pretty serious jail time

(Newser) - Turns out Rod Blagejevich was right that President Obama's old Senate seat was worth something: A whole bunch of jail time. A jury today convicted Blago on 17 of 20 charges after deliberating for nine days. Blagojevich showed little emotion after the verdicts were read, notes the Chicago Tribune,... More »

Blagojevich: 'F***ing Golden' Remark Was 'War-Gaming'

Ex-gov is less than crystal clear in his testimony

(Newser) - Rod Blagojevich finally got a chance to explain his infamous description of Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat as "f---ing golden" but he did a pretty poor job of it. "I'm afraid to answer this, but I'm not quite sure how to answer it," the... More »

Emanuel's Blago Trial Testimony: Quick, Terse

Mayor takes the stand for all of three minutes

(Newser) - Rahm Emanuel took the stand for the defense in Rod Blagojevich’s trial today, but he didn’t stay there long, offering some mono-syllabic answers to a few simple questions in an exchange that lasted just three minutes, the Chicago Tribune reports. Things kicked off with some pleasantries: Blagojevich’s... More »

Oprah Ticket Frees Woman From Blagojevich Jury

Pass to show taping is 'effing golden': Blago

(Newser) - Civic duty or Oprah? It was a pressing question in Rod Blagovejich’s retrial, after a prospective juror used her ticket to an Oprah taping as an excuse to avoid being seated. Lawyers from both sides agreed to let her slide. To be fair, it’s a pass to one... More »

Blagojevich: Kill Retrial, Sentence Me

Ex-Illinois governor says he's too poor for retrial

(Newser) - Rod Blagojevich has asked a judge to cancel his retrial and instead sentence him immediately on the lone count he was convicted of (lying to a federal agent), arguing that he doesn't have the money to mount another defense. The government is supposed to pick up the tab for Blagojevich's... More »

Blagojevich's Brother Gets Off

Feds drop charges against Robert

(Newser) - Prosecutors have dropped all charges against Robert Blagojevich, brother of Rod Blagojevich. An assistant US attorney said the feds were giving up on Robert, who had been charged with two counts of extortion conspiracy and one count of wire fraud and extortion, because of the “disparity in the roles”... More »

Young Blago Juror: I May Become a Lobbyist

'I've seen all the money they make'

(Newser) - Any lessons to be learned from round one of the Blagojevich trial? Probably none better than this, as articulated by a college-age juror: "I might be a lobbyist after this," Erik Sarnello tells the Chicago Sun-Times (a line gleefully picked up by the Awl ). "I've seen... More »

Jury: Lone Juror Wouldn't Convict Blago

Woman wanted 'smoking gun,' prosecution confused case

(Newser) - The jury in the Rod Blagojevich trial came exceedingly close to convicting him on a host of charges, but were held back by a lone, intractable holdout, jurors told the press today. “The person just did not see the evidence that everyone else did,” Juror Stephen Wlodek told... More »

Looks Like Bribery's Legal

Messy campaign finance system explains Blago verdict: Scott Turow

(Newser) - An Illinois jury's failure to convict Rod Blagojevich on bribery-related charges despite damning evidence starts to make sense when you look at America's shambolic campaign finance system, argues Scott Turow. The huge number of loopholes, together with the Supreme Court's decision to lift restrictions on corporate campaign donations, has turned... More »

Defiant Blago: Trial a Big Waste of Money

They threw 'the kitchen sink' at me and failed

(Newser) - Because federal prosecutors got Rod Blagojevich on only 1 of 24 counts , we get to do this all over again. Let the posturing begin, as rounded up by the Chicago Tribune :
  • Rod Blagojevich: "The government threw everything but the kitchen sink at me, and on every charge but one
... More »

Blago Jurors Have Settled on Only 2 Counts

Judge wants them to keep deliberating

(Newser) - The Rod Blagojevich jury continues to be stuck: On its 12th day of deliberations, jurors informed the judge that they've settled on only two counts (it's not clear which ones), remain deadlocked on 11 others, and haven't even begun deliberating the remaining 11 related to wire fraud charges. The judge... More »

Blagojevich Jury: We're Stumped

Jurors tell judge they're deadlocked on some counts

(Newser) - If you were locked in a room for 11 days talking about nothing but Rod Blagojevich, you'd probably be a little confused, too. The jurors in his corruption case told the judge today they can't reach agreement on some of the 24 counts against him and wondered what they should... More »

Blago Lawyer's Closing: My Client's an Idiot

Prosecutor rejects 'not the sharpest knife in drawer' defense

(Newser) - Rod Blagojevich’s defense attorney took an odd tack in his closing argument yesterday, arguing, basically, that the governor had been too stupid to do anything but follow the advice of his staff. “He ain’t corrupt,” and he “never intended to bribe or extort anyone,”... More »

Blago Lawyer Walks Off the Job

After dispute over closing argument, Sam Adam Jr. departs

(Newser) - Rod Blagojevich's lawyer left a federal courthouse in Chicago today without delivering his closing argument after the judge threatened to cite him for contempt of court, the Tribune reports . Sam Adam Jr. wanted to tell jurors about witnesses the government didn't call and planned to contend that their testimony would... More »

'Senator Oprah' Sounded Good to Blago

Then-gov considered media titan to succeed Obama as senator

(Newser) - As Rod Blagojevich considered possible successors to Barack Obama as US senator from Illinois, he came up with one name "no one can assail": Oprah Winfrey. As the former governor's corruption trial dragged on today in Chicago, prosecutors played a tape from December 2008—after Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett... More »

Judge Bars Blagojevich From Tweeting in Court

But he can still talk to the press

(Newser) - Geez, now Rod Blagojevich is going to have sit still during his corruption trial. The judge today blocked his perfectly rational plan to issue live tweets from the courtroom, reports the Chicago Tribune . Judge Zagel didn't bar Blagojevich from making his many public statements before and after the proceedings, though... More »

Blago Defense Can't Subpoena Obama

Ex-governor's lawyers want president to testify in corruption trial

(Newser) - Rod Blagojevich will not be permitted to subpoena President Obama as he defends himself against charges that he tried to sell or barter Obama's vacant Senate seat after the 2008 presidential election. The judge in the former governor's forthcoming corruption trial did leave to door open to calling the president... More »

Blago Accidentally Reveals Allegations Against Obama

Screw-up reveals redacted info

(Newser) - Rod Blagojevich's defense team asked the judge to subpoena Barack Obama yesterday with a motion that was supposed to be heavily redacted. But whoever redacted it did a lousy job; the blacked out text could be easily read just by copying and pasting it, as Capital Fax revealed. Here's what... More »

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