July 20th, 2010
03:07 PM ET
4 years ago

Former Illinois governor Blagojevich expected to testify

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich may finally get to tell his story to a jury Tuesday.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich may finally get to tell his story to a jury Tuesday.

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) - After months of professing his innocence in impromptu news conferences, on Twitter and even on Donald Trump's show "Celebrity Apprentice," former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich may finally get to tell his story to a jury Tuesday.

The two-term Democrat was removed from office in January 2009 amid accusations that he had attempted to sell the U.S. Senate seat that had been occupied by Barack Obama before he became president. The federal trial started in June, and Blagojevich is expected to be one of the defense witnesses called to the stand Tuesday.

The ousted governor is accused of "conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits" in exchange for an appointment to Obama's seat, including a possible job in Washington or with a lucrative private foundation. In one conversation recorded by federal agents, he told an aide, "I've got this thing and it's [expletive] golden. I'm just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing."

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Filed under: Illinois • Rod Blagojevich
June 28th, 2010
09:09 PM ET
4 years ago

Blagojevich: Oprah Winfrey for Senate

(CNN) - During his search for a successor to fill President Obama's former Senate seat, then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich considered picking talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

In newly- released transcripts of telephone conversations from 2008, introduced into evidence during his trial on Monday, Blagojevich made his case for Winfrey, saying she was "the king maker."

Speaking with his Chief of Staff Richard Harris, Blagojevich continued, "She made Obama."

Harris countered by saying, "So is it that you're tryin' to shed some grace on thee, by picking her?"

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Filed under: Illinois • Oprah Winfrey • Popular Posts • Rod Blagojevich
June 9th, 2010
12:47 PM ET
4 years ago

Blagojevich banned from tweeting during trial

Blagojevich has been told not to tweet while in court.
Blagojevich has been told not to tweet while in court.

In an update to the Rod Blagojevich twitter saga, it appears that there will be no tweets from the former Illinois governor while he is in the courtroom.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Judge James Zagel banned Blagojevich from tweeting during the trial.

The report also indicated that Zagel suggested Blagojevich should avoid making public statements about the trial.

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Filed under: Rod Blagojevich
June 8th, 2010
09:09 AM ET
4 years ago

Opening statements to begin in Blagojevich case

Blagojevich has denied any wrongdoing.
Blagojevich has denied any wrongdoing.

(CNN) - Opening statements in the federal criminal trial of embattled former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich are set to begin Tuesday.

The trial could feature White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Both have been subpoenaed as witnesses in the case, according to a senior administration official.

Blagojevich, a two-term Democrat, was impeached and removed from office in January 2009 amid accusations that he had attempted to sell the U.S. Senate seat that had been occupied by Obama before he became president.

The ousted governor is accused of 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.

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Filed under: Rod Blagojevich
June 7th, 2010
04:05 PM ET
4 years ago

Blagojevich takes to Twitter

In the bio on his Twitter profile page, Rod Blagojevich proclaims that he is 'innocent of all charges'.
In the bio on his Twitter profile page, Rod Blagojevich proclaims that he is 'innocent of all charges'.

(CNN) - The embattled former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is using a new medium to declare his innocence as his federal criminal trial gets underway.

The Democrat is now on Twitter, CNN has confirmed.

Blagojevich, who was removed from office by the state legislature in January 2009, is now facing criminal corruption charges.

Authorities have accused Blagojevich and his inner circle of a near-constant conspiracy of extortion and kickbacks after his 2002 election.

He has repeatedly denied any suggestion of wrongdoing.

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Filed under: Rod Blagojevich • Twitter
June 3rd, 2010
08:19 AM ET
4 years ago

Source: Administration officials subpoenaed in Blagojevich trial

Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett have been subpoenaed as witnesses in the federal corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett have been subpoenaed as witnesses in the federal corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) – Two senior members of President Barack Obama's administration have been subpoenaed as witnesses in the federal corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, which begins Thursday in a federal courtroom in Chicago, Illinois.

Blagojevich is charged with racketeering and fraud, among other charges.

A senior administration official confirmed that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett have been subpoenaed.

Blagojevich, a two-term Democrat, was impeached and removed from office in January 2009 amid accusations that he had attempted to sell the U.S. Senate seat that had been occupied by Obama before he became president.

The ousted governor is accused of 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.

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Filed under: Rahm Emanuel • Rod Blagojevich • Valerie Jarrett
April 22nd, 2010
01:47 PM ET
4 years ago

Blagojevich defense team seeks to subpoena Obama

Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich filed a motion Thursday seeking to subpoena President Obama to testify in the corruption case against the former Illinois governor.
Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich filed a motion Thursday seeking to subpoena President Obama to testify in the corruption case against the former Illinois governor.

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) - Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich filed a motion Thursday seeking to subpoena President Barack Obama to testify in the corruption case against the former Illinois governor.

The 10-page motion contends Obama must have information in the case because the charges against Blagojevich involve alleged deal-making to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Obama when he became president.

"The defense understands that the President of the United States of America is not a routine witness and would not request his appearance if it did not think he was critical to the liberty of Rod Blagojevich," the motion says.

According to the motion, Obama's public assertion that he had no involvement in talks about filling his Senate seat contradicts information from another witness in the case.

In addition, the motion says Tony Rezko, a political fundraiser convicted of fraud charges who has links to Obama, also is a government witness in the case and Obama can offer testimony about him.


Filed under: President Obama • Rod Blagojevich
April 21st, 2010
08:05 AM ET
4 years ago

Blagojevich challenges prosecutor to court showdown

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - If former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has his way, Wednesday's court hearing on his racketeering charges will be a showdown between him and the lead prosecutor in the case.

Blagojevich threw down the gauntlet during a defiant news conference Tuesday, in which he called his accusers "liars" and "cowards," and directly challenged U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who is heading the prosecution.

Blagojevich accused federal authorities of trying to keep some of the tapes FBI agents made of his phone conversations from being heard by a jury.

"I challenge Mr. Fitzgerald... Why don't you show up in court tomorrow and explain to everybody, explain to the whole world why you don't want the tapes that you made played in court?" Blagojevich said to reporters. "I'll be in court tomorrow. I hope you're man enough to show up," he added, referring to Fitzgerald.

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Filed under: Rod Blagojevich
April 14th, 2010
06:21 PM ET
4 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.

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Filed under: Illinois • Rod Blagojevich
March 11th, 2010
03:54 PM ET
5 years ago

Blagojevich delivers Letterman's Top Ten

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich made an appearance on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' on Wednesday.
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich made an appearance on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' on Wednesday.

(CNN) – Rod Blagojevich may have lost his job, but the former Illinois governor hasn't lost his sense of humor.

Blagojevich appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman" Wednesday to present the show's Top Ten list. The category: "The top ten questions Rod Blagojevich asked himself before appearing on 'Celebrity Apprentice.'"

The former politician, who was impeached after he was accused of trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama, delivered punchlines that focused more on his hair than his politics.

Blagojevich opened his performance with the number 10 question - "Can I get paid in shampoo?" - and ended the list with, "Will my hair get along with Trump's hair?"

But in between the fluffy hair jokes, Blagojevich found room for one or two politically-charged digs, including, "How come I'm not a governor and Paterson is?"

The former governor's late night appearance comes four days ahead of this season's "Celebrity Apprentice" premiere. As a cast member, Blagojevich follows in the footsteps of his wife, Patti, who appeared on NBC's "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" last summer.

Read Blagojevich's entire Top Ten list after the jump:

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Filed under: Rod Blagojevich
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