It looks like a jury was able to agree, this time, on whether or not Rod Blagojevich attempted to sell Barack Obama's vacated Illinois Senate seat. The verdict, just rolling in, is guilty.
This is the second crack that prosecutors have had to take down the former Governor. In the original trial, the jury was unable to reach a verdict and came back hung after two weeks of deliberation. In that case, Blagojevich was hit with 24 counts which ranged from wire fraud to extortion to bribe solicitation. The jury was only able to agree on one count - lying to the FBI.
So prosecutors decided to go at him again, this time simplifying the charges. They did this by dropping some racketeering charges and leaving Blagojevich's one time co-defendant, his brother, out of the whole thing.
They also took only 3 weeks to present their case. The first trial took over a month and a half. According to the AP, they just streamlined the whole thing - called fewer witnesses and played shorter clips from the damning audio evidence from the FBI wiretaps. Basically, anything to make the decision for the jury less complicated.
And at the retrial, Blag himself testified in his own defense. "When I hear myself saying that on tape, I'm an effin' jerk, and I apologize," he said on the stand.
This time, Blago has been convicted of 17 of the 20 counts. The jury was unable to come to a verdict on 2 counts. He faces up to 350 years in prison.
Blagojevich had turned himself into a somewhat unwanted celebrity after his removal from office. He made the talk show rounds immediately following his indictment, hitting The Late Show with David Letterman, The Daily Show and others. He tried to appear on the short-lived NBC reality show I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here, but the judge in his case wouldn't let him leave the country to film it. His wife took his place on the show.
He also appeared on the 9th season of Celebrity Apprentice. He didn't last very long, as Trump fired him during the 4th aired episode.
Blagojevich hasn't always been an avid Twitter user, but he joined the network about a month or so ago. He then publicly announced that he would be live-tweeting his retrial. The judge in his trial quickly nipped that idea, as he banned Blago from using the social media client inside the courtroom.
The Twitterverse is reacting to the breaking news, most of which are not too sympathetic to the ex-Governor -
Gov. Rod Blagojevich was also found guilty of being an asshole..
So, how do you think ol' Rod Blagojevich is going to fare in federal prison?
In my mind, Rod Blagojevich is only guilty of providing me endless hours of entertainment. Goodnight, sweet Lego-haired prince.
Well Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich I guess you better get that vaseline a ready!!!!!
Ol' Rod still has some supporters out there, however -
Rod Blagojevich was the BEST GOVERNOR Illinois ever had. He cared for the people and slammed him because of that!
Damn... Rod Blagojevich guilty of 17 counts. Loved him on apprentice