Rod Blagojevich Trial - Day 2 - Jury Selection
We've been lied about and falsely accused. I know I'll be vindicated.”— Rod Blagojevich
A male freelance graphic artist said just now he'd have a tough time being a juror and ignoring the news when he went home.
"Unless we were sequestered, I think it would be tough personally," the man told Judge James Zagel. "I archive court news. I've always had a certain fascination with the history of news."
When pressed, he said he wouldn't consciously violate the judge's order to ignore the news.
Rod Blagojevich sounded defiant Friday, accusing the federal government of making false allegations against him and his family as jury selection inched forward during the second day of the ousted Illinois governor's corruption trial.
Though the ex-governor, who is accused of trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama's former Senate seat, appeared upbeat and waved to passerbys, the mood at the downtown Chicago courthouse was much calmer compared to the media circus at the trial's opening day.
The Rod Blagojevich corruption trial continues Friday with the second day of jury selection. Friday morning, Judge James Zagel dismissed nine jurors of the 29 interviewed the day before.
FOX Chicago News legal analyst Larry Yellen is in the courtroom and will file updates throughout the day. The most recent updates will appear at the top of the page.
UPDATE: 2:30 p.m., by Larry Yellen
Court recessed for 15 minutes after Judge Zagel had interviewed another eight potential jurors.
So far 16 potential jurors have been questioned today, including a retired postal worker, a law student, a Cook County Deputy Sheriff, a former law clerk in the Dirksen building, a high school volleyball coach, and a lab technician who also teaches Croation folklore at the Croation Cultural Center.
During the short break, Blagojevich talked with a number of people who had shown up to watch, shaking their hands and repeating his prediction that if he gets a fair trial, he'll win.
He and his brother Robert, a co-defendant, still appear to be ignoring each other, avoiding any conversation.
In a nearly empty courtroom in the federal courthouse Friday, as the second day of Rod Blagojevich's trial was about to get under way, the former governor appeared to be flirting with the courtroom artists.
He smiled at them and tried to charm them from the defendant's table as they stared at him to draw his portrait. Within minutes, he started to laugh, and the artists appeared charmed.