Rod Blagojevich Will Have His Day In CourtBy: Toni Matthews-El - December 13, 2013
If you thought you’d seen the last of Rod Blagojevich (and his hair) you were wrong.
The former Illinois governor had been convicted in 2011 of a variety of corruption charges. The most controversial being his attempts to sell President Obama’s former senate seat. After having spent the last couple of years in jail, he will have a chance to strike at the heart of that particular allegation.
Still the defense’s question is a doozy: If ethically questionable behavior is out in the open rather than behind closed doors, shouldn’t that be granted special consideration?
Blagojevich’s attorney, Leonard Goodman argues that his client thought of his dealings as “political horse trading” and that they were absolutely legal. The quid pro quo nature of the issue and the legal question raised clearly piqued the interests of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A panel of three judges has agreed to hear the appeal. There is no guarantee that being able to argue the question will result in an overturned conviction. At best, Blagojevich can hope to have his sentence reduced. Many feel that it’s likely that this is his very last chance to avoid serving a full sentence.
It's Friday the 13th so, naturally, there is an appellate argument today at 7th Circuit for Rod Blagojevich. http://t.co/t2D8cRDRfu
— Andrew Cohen (@CBSAndrew) December 13, 2013
His defense claims that the jury that convicted Blagojevich didn’t get to hear the whole story. Allegedly, the things that he did were for causes and programs meant to positively benefit his constituents. In other words, what “Blago” was really up to was looking out for the little guy. It’s just that in the world of politics, you have to scratch a lot of backs to do it.
The problem with this particular logic is that on the tapes that formed the cornerstone of evidence against him, Blagojevich can be heard saying, “”I’ve got this thing and it’s f*** golden. And I’m just not giving it up for f*** nothing.” This is in reference to Obama’s former seat.
I’ve got this.
I’m not giving it up for nothing.
Those don’t sound like the words of a man who’s thinking about what he can do for someone other than himself. If the judges agree with this sentiment, then there’s a good chance it will be a decade before we see Rod Blagojevich’s name again.
Image: Wikimedia Commons