Remember disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich? You know, the one who (allegedly) attempted to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat, shook down a children's hospital administrator for political donations, and pressured a major newspaper to fire unfriendly editors? It's been awhile since the nation had a collective laugh at the clownish former pol's expense, but he's back in the headlines as federal prosecutors take a second run at him:
Prosecutors have rested their case at the corruption retrial of impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Government attorneys wrapped up Thursday after presenting evidence for three weeks and calling their last few witnesses earlier in the day.
Prosecutors drastically streamlined their presentation after criticism that their six-week case last year was overly complicated. Jurors in the first trial could agree on only one count, convicting Blagojevich of lying to the FBI. Blagojevich faces 20 charges this time, including that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat. He has denied any wrongdoing.
So, ahem, "innocent" is Blago that he intends to take the stand in his own defense, desperate to once again muddy the waters and hang the jury. As we were reminded last summer, it only takes one dopey hold-out to prevent a conviction.
Former governor Rod Blagojevich is preparing to take the stand in his defense at his second corruption trial, according to his defense team. Whether that happens remains to be seen.
Defense attorneys tell ABC7 that Blagojevich is already prepping for the stand. He is on the witness list, but the defense attorneys said the decision as to whether he will be called has not been definitely made. Those chances, defense attorney Lauren said, are 50/50. They also said Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was subpoenaed by the defense. Defense attorneys did not comment outright, but told Judge James Zagel their witness list will include "people of some prominence."
Since neither of the stories linked above bother to remind viewers of Blagojevich's political affiliation, I'll do the honors: He's a Democrat. Which brings us to our depressing thought of the day. In the face of this fool's alleged felonies, impeachment, and subsequent antics -- not to mention sky high taxes and the appallingly terrible fiscal picture he left in his wake -- the people of Illinois went to the polls in November and elected Pat Quinn (D), Blago's Lt. Governor, for four more years. And guess what? They're getting exactly what they deserve.