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Rod Blagojevich Convicted on One Count; Mistrial Declared on 23 Others

3 years ago
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The jury in the corruption trial of Rod Blagojevich has convicted the former Illinois governor on one count of making false statements to the FBI, and the judge declared a mistrial on the 23 remaining counts.

Jurors said they were deadlocked on the 23 counts against Blagojevich, and on all four counts against his brother, Robert Blagojevich.

Rod Blagojevich, 53, faces up to five years in prison.

U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel set a status hearing for Aug. 26 for prosecutors to announce whether they will retry Rod Blagojevich.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Samborn said late Tuesday there will "definitely" be a retrial.

The verdict was announced after 14 days of deliberation.

"We have a prosecutor who has wasted millions and wants to keep spending money to persecute me," Blagojevich told reporters after leaving the courtroom.

He also said he would appeal the conviction of lying to investigators.

"I did not lie to the FBI," he said. "I told the truth from the very beginning."

The former governor faced a number of charges, including racketeering, wire fraud, and attempted extortion and bribery. The most explosive accusation was that he attempted to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

The trial began in June and featured testimony from several former members of the ex-governor's staff and a number of secretly recorded telephone calls in which a foul-mouthed Blagojevich appeared to try and trade political favors for campaign cash.

The judge did not say when Blagojevich would face sentencing on the false-statements charge. Blagojevich, who pleaded not guilty, did not testify at his trial. The defense presented no witnesses.

His older brother, Robert, who briefly worked for the then-governor as a fundraiser, was tried simultaneously on charges of wire fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and bribery conspiracy. He said he was ready to fight if the case is retried.

"I feel strong, I feel confident and I don't feel in any way deterred in my ability to articulate my innocence," the former governor's brother said.

Blagojevich, a Democrat, was elected governor in 2002, vowing to clean up state politics after his predecessor, George Ryan, was sentenced to federal prison on a corruption conviction.

He was arrested in December 2008 and subsequently impeached and removed from office. Since then he has written a book and appeared on a number of television shows, including Donald Trump's reality program, "The Celebrity Apprentice."

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Doreen

Rod Blagojevich Seeks 'Vindication,' Says No to Any Plea Deal And are we surprised? Of course not, why should he Plea when he is a far left democrat liberal which automatically entitles him and others like him, to get away clean, from breaking any of our laws.

August 20 2010 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
momprayn

He was on the "lower rung" and was inexperienced, probably being used by the ones with the higher positions and clout......the real "serious" corrupt politicians are in the White House/Congress and those are the ones that need to be held to account.

August 17 2010 at 9:46 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Randy

Fitzgerald has done a remarkable thing.
If Blago were convicted it could gave only nade the dems look bad.
But now, they are going to retry him (in a mostly liberal state and at the expense of liberals)
And if he comes clean he could sue Chicago and Illinois into the dirt.
At liberals expense.
Chicago justice. HAHAHAHAHA!

August 17 2010 at 8:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
kevinsr

All of the tax payers money wasted on this ? this prosecutor should quit for wasting money. he only got a conviction on statements on something that was legal. they should have to pay his attorney fees. THIS SHOULD NOT BE RETRIED and he should do no jail time. you just waste so much of his time and money for what. if this is the case they could convict everyone in the united states, because none of us trust the government.

August 17 2010 at 7:52 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kevinsr's comment
PAULA

yes, I agree with you 100% they are wasting our money and its all pathetic

August 17 2010 at 8:13 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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