August 2nd, 2010
06:55 PM ET
13 years ago

Jurors done for the day in Blagojevich trial

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Jurors are done deliberating for the day in the trial of Rob Blagojevich."]Chicago, Illinois (CNN) - A third day of deliberations ended Monday with no decision in the federal corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Jurors will return Tuesday morning to continue their work.

Testimony wrapped up last week and deliberations began Wednesday. Blagojevich said that after listening to his attorneys' advice, he decided not to take the stand in his own defense.

While awaiting trial, the ousted governor protested his innocence in interviews and on Twitter, as well as during his appearances on the "Celebrity Apprentice" reality show.

Blagojevich faces 24 counts including racketeering, wire fraud, attempted extortion and bribery. The two-term Democrat was removed from office in January 2009 amid accusations that he attempted to sell the U.S. Senate seat that had been occupied by Barack Obama before he became president.

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."

Conviction on the count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud would carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while a conviction on the count of solicitation of bribery would carry a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The former governor's brother, Robert Blagojevich, testified Tuesday that the governor was "trying to politically work something to his benefit" in handling the appointment - but was thinking in terms of political horse-trading, not corruption.

"It didn't seem out of the ordinary, because Obama was taking a lot of people from Illinois with him to D.C.," said Robert Blagojevich, who raised money for his brother. He said the governor "was interested in the idea of being the head of Health and Human Services."

Robert Blagojevich is himself charged with wire fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and bribery conspiracy and is on trial with his brother. One count of wire fraud against him was thrown out Wednesday before jury instructions began.

Prosecutors argued that Rod Blagojevich and his inner circle engaged in a near-constant conspiracy of extortion and kickbacks after his 2002 election.

Filed under: Illinois • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. jules sand-perkins

    I learned to laugh about Chicago politics when I was in college there in the late 1950s.
    Now, all Americans have experienced Chicago politics. Strangely, Obama's version is not as good a laugh.

    August 2, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  2. Hugo

    Just think of what an investigation into the personal funds of each and every Congressman would reveal... This corruption is not just limited to Blago and the Dems, it is rampant in DC. If any private citizen were to behave in the manner these elected officials do they would be under the jail, not a reprimand, under the jail. When the lawyers began manipulating the laws for campaign funding bribes to be legal it was the beginning of the end. How many Congressional family members are on the lobbyist groups payrolls in little umbrella corporations and non-profit organizations? The bottom line to what is transpiring is that if you grow government you have to have a working private sector to fund it. A taxed tax dollar is non-sustainable, it has degenerated into a shell game and unless the American public rises up to cleanse the system, we are all Kaput! 6.5 million Americans out of work and the public sector is looking for their annual raises and pension increases, it is unbelievable! They have figured out how to manipulate the masses, would you vote against your own paycheck, even if you knew it would destroy our Nation?

    August 2, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. DENNA

    Ah yes, the clown prince of Illinois. Watching this man do the side-step around the issues has been amusing, but as an Illinois resident, I will be very glad to see this end. All he had to do was to appoint a replacement for President Obama's senate seat. Seriously, how can you mess up something that simple? Oh, yea, by trying to gain money for the seat.

    August 2, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |