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Corrupt governor Rod Blagojevich tried to sell Obama's seat

A jury convicted former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich yesterday of nearly all the corruption charges against him, including trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old senate seat.

Blagojevich had faced 20 charges, including the senate seat allegation and that he schemed to shake down executives for campaign donations.

He was convicted on all charges regarding the senate seat. Because the allegations had to do with Mr Obama's Senate seat, and because Blagojevich never hesitated to talk about himself when media cameras were around, the case attracted national attention.

Blagojevich rode his talkative 'everyman' image to two terms as governor before scandal made him the object of national jokes.

He had testified for seven days, denying wrongdoing. Prosecutors said he lied and the proof was on FBI wiretaps.

Blagojevich was arrested in December 2008 after the FBI had wire-tapped hundreds of his telephone calls at work and home.

Yesterday's decision capped a long-running spectacle in which Blagojevich became famous for blurting on a recorded phone call that his ability to appoint Mr Obama's successor to the Senate was "f****** golden" and that he wouldn't let it go "for f****** nothing". Jurors in his first trial deadlocked on all but one charge, convicting Blagojevich of lying to the FBI.

Blagojevich already faces up to five years for the lying conviction.

Retrial jurors saw a deferential Blagojevich look them in the eyes and deny every allegation, telling them his talk on the recordings was mere brainstorming.

Blagojevich now faces a sentence of up to 300 years in prison.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph