Defense Presesents Closing Arguments in Rod Blagojevich Trial

I might not be bright, but I’m not foolish. I had no idea that in the two months of trial, they [the prosecution] would prove nothing.”

— Sam Adam Jr., Rod Blagojevich's Attorney

No one’s going to say he’s the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he’s not corrupt.”

— Sam Adam Jr.

With the question of whether Sam Adam Jr. would give the closing argument for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich put to rest, the lawyer started his remarks with the obvious: Blagojevich didn’t testify as Adam promised he would in his opening statement.

Adam called it “the pink elephant in the room” and said the reason was the case had changed.

“I might not be bright, but I’m not foolish,” he said. “I had no idea that in the two months of trial, they would prove nothing.”

The government had proven the defense case, Adam said, including that Patti Blagojevich’s work was legitimate, meaning no illicit cash went to his client.
“Who knew that?” Adam asked loudly. Rod Blagojevich took not one corrupt dime, he said.

In closing arguments Tuesday at the trial of Rod Blagojevich, the former governor was portrayed by his lawyer as someone with "absolutely horrible judgment in people," a victim misled and preyed on by top advisers and scalp-hunting federal agents.

But a federal prosecutor cast Blagojevich as a seasoned lawyer and politician trying to blame others for hanging him out to dry as "somehow the accidentally corrupt governor."

"We are all responsible for our own actions," said Assistant U.S. Atty. Reid Schar, his voice sometimes quaking with anger as he stood close to the jury box and asked for Blagojevich's conviction in pay-to-play politics and a bid to auction off a U.S. Senate seat.

Rod Blagojevich attorney Sam Adam Jr. has moved past the alleged sale of Barack Obama’s Senate seat, saying the wiretaps show a legitimate political negotiation and the ramblings of an insecure man.

He told jurors that Blagojevich likes to talk – and that’s one of the endearing qualities that his family loves most about him. He urged the panel to consider the undercover recordings to be nothing more than the chatter of a governor who’s jealous of Obama’s success.

“If you put Joan and Melissa Rivers in a room, you wouldn’t get that much talk,” he said.

Adam is gesturing wildly throughout his summation, but he’s not gathering much steam. Prosecutors have objected about every four minutes, and the judge so far has sided with them each time.

After the lunch break, attorney Sam Adam Jr. picked up right where he left off, hollering and waving his arms and saying all the government had done was proved former Gov. Rod Blagojevich “used his American Express card for clothes.”

Prosecutors called an IRS agent to the stand twice, apparently in an attempt to embarrass Blagojevich, he said.

“To show you he paid for clothes out of his own pocket,” Adam said. “Not that Tony Rezko went over there and paid for his suits.”

The IRS agent actually had left something out, he said.