As the jury in the corruption of retrial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich deliberated for a third day Tuesday, Blagojevich’s attorney from his first trial predicted that the former governor will be found innocent.
Sam Adam Jr. was an attorney for Blagojevich in his first corruption trial, which ended with a mixed verdict.
“Why are we spending $25 to $30 million on a retrial when you couldn't prove it the first time?” Adam Jr. famously said after the government said they would bring the charges again. That passion and fiery tone has gained Adam Jr. the reputation as a bulldog in the courtroom. He's no longer officially part of the defense team, but he's been keeping an eye and ear on developments at the trial.
Adam Jr. said he thinks the retrial is going well for the defense; they are sticking to the facts, and Blagojevich made a connection with jurors during his testimony.
"Listen, this is a man who has spent his entire life, his entire adult life talking to people and selling his positions to those people. He couldn't be a bad witness, he could not. He knows how to say things. He knows how to tell the truth and look you in the eye and seem as if he believes what he's telling you," Adam Jr. said.
The jury for the retrial consists of 11 women and one man, something Adam Jr. said he prefers.
“Every time I pick a jury, I try to get as many women as you can because, in my opinion, they are more fair and even-minded,” Adam Jr. said. “In this particular case with him taking the stand and him having the personality that he has, I think it's a very good dynamic for the defense, not so good for the prosecution.”
Adam Jr. predicted that Blagojevich will be found not guilty on all 20 counts of the indictment.
“I can definitely see them finding him guilty on some counts, but in these types of cases its all about compromise. Okay, so you say he did this on the Senate seat, but he didn’t do this with the school so at least give me that they’ll compromise it out,” Adam Jr. said. “It's going to depend on whose sitting in there as a jury. I don't believe it's going to happen, but I could certainly see that happening, and if it does, it will be a compromise. I don't see guilty on everything.”
Adam Jr. said no plea bargain was offered at the first trial and he assumed one wasn’t offered this time.
“Never in a million years would he plead guilty because he’s not,” Adam Jr. said.
Adam Jr. said he feels that the sole guilty verdict in the first trial was him letting his client down, but that it would not stand.
“That's what appellate courts are for. And we believe that. We do not believe that verdict will stand,” Adam Jr. said. “I feel I let my governor down; I feel I let him down as my client. I feel we'll be vindicated, and I feel the 7th Circuit will reverse that and we'll be found not guilty.”