April 14th, 2010
06:21 PM ET
5 years ago

Details of prosecution case against Blagojevich emerge

Court documents released Wednesday reveal details of the allegations against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Court documents released Wednesday reveal details of the allegations against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) – Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his inner circle engaged in a near-constant conspiracy of extortion and kickbacks after his 2002 election, according to a court document released Wednesday that reveals details of the allegations against him.

The accusations also include tens of thousands of dollars in unearned commissions and unnecessary retainer fees diverted to Blagojevich's wife after he and his co-conspirators learned they were being investigated.

Blagojevich, a two-term Democrat, resigned in January 2009 amid accusations that he had attempted to sell the U.S. Senate seat that had been
occupied by newly elected President Barack Obama. The former governor was arrested the month before his resignation on federal corruption charges that included wire fraud, mail fraud and solicitation of bribery.

The ousted governor is quoted telling his former chief of staff, John Harris, that he wanted "a good gig" in exchange for an appointment to Obama's seat, either in Washington or with a lucrative private foundation. In a statement issued after the 91-page prosecution document was released, Blagojevich said there was "nothing new" in the paperwork.

"It's the same old false allegations and lies," he said. "I'm looking forward to trial so the truth comes out and everyone will see that I am innocent."

U.S. District Judge James Zagel ordered the document released without redactions over the objections of Blagojevich's lawyers. Several news
organizations had requested the document's release.

The accusations against Blagojevich include offering to divert state contracts to individuals and firms that made campaign contributions and appointing contributors or their associates to key state positions.

Fundraisers "understood that Blagojevich viewed those appointments as an opportunity to reward big fundraisers or Blagojevich's supporters," prosecutors wrote. "Blagojevich consistently wanted to know who recommended a particular candidate for a board or commission slot."


Filed under: Illinois • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Ronny Wickenhauser

    Hey CNN. Blagojevich did NOT resign. He was IMPEACHED and CONVICTED by the state senate and removed from office.

    April 14, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. rut

    Blagojevich didn't resign – he was impeached and removed by the state legislature. Big difference.

    April 14, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. Kris S

    What happened to basic fact-checking before publishing something reportedly as "news"? Blogo did not resign, he was impeached.

    April 14, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    How stupid can people be, this is the oldest trick in the book, diverting funds to a spouse. This puts Blags whole family in jeporady to losing everything, she should have kept her hands clean especially for her children. This type of greed will destroy a family.

    April 14, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  5. Joseph B

    Jon Stewart said it best – 4 of the last 8 Illinois governors get indicted (not counting Pat Quinn). Less than 50% of murderers go to jail. People are more likely to go to jail as governor of Illinois than as murderers...

    April 14, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. THE TRUTH

    what does one expect from chicago politics like it isnt crooked anyway

    my bet is he is taking the heat off of someone else in the party of frauds

    April 14, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. dk

    He did not resign, he was IMPEACHEd...fact check fails again

    April 14, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  8. Pete

    He didn't resign. He was impeached and then removed from office.

    April 14, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. 'RUB' THE CLOWN

    Won't that hair be a treat for the folks in the pokey!

    April 14, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    CNN, please get it right. He was removed from office. He did not resign.

    April 14, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |