[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/10/blagojevich.jpg caption="Gov. Rod Blagojevich is facing federal corruption charges."]
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As a criminal defense attorney and journalist I pretty much thought I’d seen it all. Until yesterday and the news out of Chicago that Governor Rod Blagojevich was actually trying to sell the senate seat vacated by our president-elect. That’s right, sell it.
The governor before this one is already in prison and two others before that. Add to that Dan Rostenkowski and convicted businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko. But none of it could have prepared me, or dare I say the vast majority of my other fellow cynics at the intersection of journalism and politics, for the downright bold nature of what’s alleged here.
And it’s got me struggling to think like a criminal defense attorney too because if you are poor and hungry and you steal a loaf of bread, well I can defend that. But if you are given the keys to the governor’s mansion and you violate the public trust, well then it’s a whole lot harder to feel sorry for you.
Whatever crimes he may or may not have committed, the audio tapes of his wheeling and dealing reveal a man who is vengeful, profane, and even disconnected from reality. In short, a person not fit for service.
But, I will say it in this case, as I say it in every other case, as a matter of law, Governor Blagojevich is presumed innocent until proven guilty as charged.
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