Prosecution Delivers Opening Statement in Rod Blagojevich Trial

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton gave opening statements for the prosecution.

Hamilton started her opening talking about Children's Memorial Hospital, and how in 2008 the hospital needed money from the state to pay doctors. Then-Governor Blagojevich agreed to give money, but only if the hospital helped him. He had his brother Robert call the hospital president to hold a fundraiser for Blagojevich.

The hospital president ignored Robert’s calls, so Rod took the money back.

They said this is just one illegal shake down by Rod Blagojevich from 2003 to 2008. In each shake down, Blagojevich used power to get something of personal benefit.

Rod Blagojevich, the ex-governor of Illinois, tried to use his office to benefit himself, a U.S. prosecutor told a federal court jury composed of his former constituents.

Between taking office in 2003 and his arrest in 2008, Blagojevich was “trying to use his power as governor to get something of personal benefit for himself,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton said in her opening statement to the panel of seven men and eleven women in Chicago’s federal courthouse. Instead of worrying about what was good for Illinois, “he was asking, ‘what about me?’” Hamilton said.