Defense Rests in Rod Blagojevich Trial and Will Call No Witnesses

Sam Adam Sr.'s most compelling argument and ultimately the one that swayed me was that the government in their case proved my innocence. They proved I did nothing illegal and that there was nothing further for us to add.”

— Rod Blagojevich

Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich told the judge presiding over his corruption trial this morning that the former governor will indeed not testify in his own defense. The defense rested its case without calling a single witness.

As the announcement was made in court, Blagojevich sat still with his hands folded on the defense table, then gave a glance and slight wink to wife, Patti.

Closing arguments are expected to begin Monday.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel questioned Blagojevich directly about his decision.

Judge James Zagel has the jury taken out of the room and then addresses Rod Blagojevich.

The judge asks him to state his name for the record. "Rod Blagojevich."

Zagel explains to Blagojevich that it has to be his own decision not to testify.

"So now I'm going to ask you if it is your personal decision not to take the witness stand," the judge says
"Yes, judge," the ex-governor responds.

Zagel asks Blagojevich if he had discussed the matter with his attorneys.

"Yes, judge, fully and completely," he says.

Rod R. Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, said for months that he would testify at his corruption trial, but on Wednesday, when the hour arrived, Mr. Blagojevich chose not to speak.

His defense team rested its side of the case on Wednesday morning without calling him or anyone else.

The decision drew a sudden end to a 24-count case that had been expected to go on for months. Jurors are now expected to return next week to hear closing arguments and begin pondering the former governor’s fate.