CNN Wire Staff
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cnn.com/video/crime/2010/08/17/sot.blagojevich.trial.verdict.reax.wls.640×360.jpg caption="Government prosecutors say they will try ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich again" width=300 height=169]
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appeared vindicated after a jury in a federal corruption trial reportedly was one vote short of convicting him of attempting to sell a U.S. Senate seat.
Prosecutors said they will retry Blagojevich and will meet next week to decide their next move.
Blagojevich was found guilty Tuesday of lying to the FBI but escaped convictions on 23 other counts in a trial seen as a partial victory for the former governor.
The jury, which deliberated for 14 days, said it was hung on 23 counts against him and on the counts against the former governor's brother, Robert Blagojevich.
CNN Wire Staff
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/06/03/crime.blagojevich.trial/story.blago.jpg caption="Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, shown at an earlier hearing, goes on trial today in Chicago for racketeering and fraud." width=300 height=169]
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.
Jamie Floyd | Bio
As you may know – or you may not – Rod Blagojevich has been indicted. The former governor of Illinois was finally indicted last week.
The announcement was exceptionally quiet, especially given the fanfare that followed his arrest late last year on charges of conspiring to gain financially from his appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. In a press conference held by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, he called the charges against Blagojevich “a truly new low” and gratuitously added that “the conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.” The 76 page FBI affidavit was laced with cuss words, the best bits read aloud, with seeming glee, across the 24/7 spectrum. There was also the unprecedented media tour conducted by the still-sitting governor on every outlet (including ours) to save his seat and perhaps change the course of criminal events.
It didn’t work.
Last Thursday, the feds handed down their indictment on 16 counts, including racketeering, fraud and extortion counts. Coming nearly four months after federal agents roused the governor out of his home in a pre-dawn arrest and weeks after lawmakers dumped him from office, the indictment of Blagojevich, his brother and four former top insiders was anti-climactic.
But that’s a good thing, if you ask me. This case shouldn’t be tried in the court of public opinion. It should be tried in a court of law. And now, it will be.
It really wasn’t that long ago when people outside of Illinois didn’t know who Rod Blagojevich was. The Chicago Cubs held the crown of the biggest loser in Chicago. The Cubs faithful were fooled once again when the 2008 team, which was “supposed” to go to the World Series, was swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Order was restored in windy city. Then Chicago sent one if its own to the White House. The city was buzzing, White Sox and Cubs fans were getting along, people were happier than they have been since Michael Jordan had this city on his shoulders.
Then the headlines on December 9th, 2008: “Governor Busted” “Prosecutors: Blagojevich tried to sell Obama’s vacant senate seat!”
It was as if the air had been let out of the city. The allegations were eye opening. Did our Governor really do what the U.S attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says he did? The prosecutors touted wire taps where conversations were recorded. There were allegations that he tried to have Chicago Tribune editorial writers fired in return for the state of Illinois helping structure a sale of Wrigley Field. Suddenly, everyone forgot about the Cubs. Everyone was talking about Rod Blagojevich.
Rod Blagojevich is back. After an arrest on charges that he tried to sell the senate seat vacated by Barack Obama; after he named relative unknown Roland Burris to the seat, generating a new storm of controversy; after he was finally impeached by the legislature in his home state of Illinois; after all that, Blagojevich is back — with a book deal.
Tentatively entitled “The Governor,” Blago’s book will chronicle his election to Congress and his election and re-election as governor. Of course, Blagojevich was also the first governor removed from office in Illinois history, but he wants to tell his side of the story.
He wants to write about what he calls “the phoniness and hypocrisy” of politicians: their drinking, womanizing and other bad behavior. For that, he will receive six figures, which is good for a former governor who is out of a six-figure job and who is facing the prospect of an expensive criminal case. The book could improve his image, not to mention make some money which he might need for his defense.
Who the heck would ever plunk good money down to read a book titled "The Governor" by Rod Blagojevich?
That's the working title of Blagojevich's planned book, but it's a terrible title. That's why you readers are being enlisted to come up with a juicy, compelling title for our former Gov. Dead Meat's tell-all book, which was announced Monday.
If your title wins, you'll get a prize, and I mean a real prize this time, something tangible.
Because I'm writing the column, I get to go first. So how about this one:
"Et Tu, DeLeo?"
That's a reference to Blagojevich's former close friend, the former shadow governor of Illinois, state Sen. James DeLeo (D-How You Doin?), who abandoned Dead Meat and voted to remove him from office after all the good times they had.
Illinois Sen. Roland Burris reiterated Monday that his sworn testimony regarding his contacts with then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich was not inconsistent with what he later said in an affidavit.
The Democratic senator's comments come a day after Illinois Republican leaders called for a perjury investigation into whether Burris deceived the public last month when he failed to tell state lawmakers that Blagojevich's brother solicited him for campaign cash at the same time that the governor himself was considering whether to appoint him to fill the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.
"We said in our testimony before the impeachment committee, my lawyer stated, that we will have to file additional information in our report because there were some questions asked where we had to get sufficient information for the committee," Burris said outside Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side before a five-day statewide "listening tour" of his new constituents.
"We also stated that we might be incomplete in our report," he said.
Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session.”
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/30/blago-closingarg-getty.jpg caption="Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was convicted at his impeachment trial shortly after delivering closing argument."]
In Session Anchor
Like a Shakespearean tragedy, the Blagojevich debacle just keeps getting better and better. Narcissism. Corruption. Colorful characters. And farce.
But it’s not funny. Not really. Because whatever really went down in this case, something is rotten in the state of Denmark. And Denmark isn’t the Prairie State. Rather, it’s a political state of mind in which entitlement and corruption have become the order of the day.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/30/blagojevich.gone/art.blagoremoval.gi.jpg caption="A worker replaces ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's picture with that of Pat Quinn."]
Steve Brusk and Greg Morrison
CNN National Desk
Workers at the Illinois Capitol wasted little time Thursday night changing the face of state government, shortly after Governor Pat Quinn replaced the ousted Rod Blagojevich.
The “welcome” sign visitors to the Capitol in Springfield see as they enter the building with Blagojevich’s face at the top was quickly brought down, with state employees watching and cameras snapping away.
Maintenance crews arrived, first removing the gold nameplate with Blagojevich’s name. Using drills and a ladder, they then brought down the large 5-foot high sign to make the official change.
AC360° Associate Producer
I finally saw them. Rod Blagojevich’s bangs. I saw them with my own eyes and I lived to tell about it. The disgraced Governor of Illinois had just finished up Larry King Live and was, I can only assume, on his way to steal money from terminally ill children when he passed me in the hallway here at CNN.
It all seemed to happen in slow motion, us walking toward each other. It was a perfect example of why I need someone to follow me at all times with an iPod boombox playing the theme song from Chariots of Fire.
The governor had quite a large entourage, though I’m unsure if they were Illinois State Troopers there to protect him or U.S. Marshals there to make sure he didn’t flee the country.