Jury Finds Rod Blagojevich Guilty on One Count (Lying to the FBI), Hung on 23 others
A federal jury today convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich of one count against him: lying to the FBI. The jury was deadlocked on the other 23 counts against the former governor, and all four counts against his brother.
The jury in Rod Blagojevich's corruption trial has reached a verdict, and Blagojevich and his brother are in the courtroom awaiting the announcement after being summoned by U.S. District Judge James Zagel.
Blagojevich and his wife Patti arrived at the courthouse around 3:45 p.m. Their attorneys, Sam Adam and Sam Adam Jr., were already there.
"God bless you, God bless you, I didn't let you down," Blago said as he shook hands with admirers. He also high-fived spectators.
The jury has found former Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty on just one of the 24 counts -- count 24, making false statement to the FBI.
That count alleges that the ex-governor lied to federal agents in 2005 when they questioned him about "pay to play" politics. He told the agents he kept his fund-raising and politics separate.
That charge carries a maximum five-year jail term and $250,000 fine.
As governor, Rod Blagojevich was a personal and political riddle, and the muddled end Tuesday to his summer-long federal corruption trial did little to clear up the mystery.
After 14 days of deliberations, the six-man, six-woman jury convicted Blagojevich on just one of the 24 felony counts he faced -- a charge that he had lied to FBI agents about his intense involvement in campaign fundraising.
Prosecutors made it clear they intend to quickly retry Blagojevich on the 23 counts on which the jury deadlocked.
Prosecutors here once said that the conduct of Rod R. Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, was so despicable it would make Abraham Lincoln “roll over in his grave,” but 12 jurors in the federal corruption case against him were apparently not all so certain.
After deliberating for 14 days, the jury found Mr. Blagojevich guilty of a single criminal count — making false statements to the F.B.I., which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, one of the least severe penalties in the charges against him.