Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Goes on Trial Again This We - FOX 32 News Chicago

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Goes on Trial Again This Week


Here we go again.

Eight months after a jury deadlocked on all but one of the charges against him, former governor Rod Blagojevich will be back at the Dirksen Federal Building for round two, this time as a convicted felon since he was found guilty of lying to the FBI.

Potential jurors in the second trial will start showing up at Dirksen on Wednesday to fill out questionnaires.

Last summer, one juror held out on conviction on the most serious and dramatic charge -- whether Blagojevich tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old senate seat. (That was the incident that Blagojevich was caught talking about on tape: "I've got this thing and it's f****** golden, and I'm not just giving it up for f****** nothing!")

Blagojevich had promised for months to tell his story from the witness stand, but when the time came, he backed down. On Sunday on FOX Chicago News, he said he won't make any promises this time around.

"I hope to, but this is like a football game. You have to wait to see how things unfold," he said.

For the defense, there are two big differences this time around. First, Sam Adam and his son, Sam Adam Junior, aren't on board. The defense will be handled by Sheldon Sorosky and Aaron Goldstein, who went through the first trial with the Adams' at their side.

"Our team was scaled down a significant amount. We're certainly doing as best we can, but the amount of work is significant," Goldstein said.

Also, brother Robert Blagojevich won't be in the courtroom; prosecutors have decided not to retry him. Unlike Rod Blagojevich, Robert did testify, and his denials of any wrongdoing may have helped Rod as well.

As for prosecutors , there's speculation they will change their lineup of witnesses, possibly starting with John Harris rather than Lon Monk, because Harris has less baggage in his past. There's no indication so far that they'll add either Tony Rezko or Stuart Levine to their witness list.

Prosecutors have also simplified their case and have dropped the racketeering charges, based on what they heard from jurors like Cynthia Carter, who said the first trial was "confusing" and "long." Other jurors were clearly frustrated by the outcome.

"I felt bad because, you know,we were given this task,we were asked to do the best we could, and to reach a conclusion, and I felt like we failed," Schindler said.

Presiding over it all , again, will be Judge James Zagel, who has consistently ruled that the tapes which Blagojevich wants to play can't be introduced as evidence unless Blagojevich takes the stand. And so Blagojevich continues to complain that the jury isn't hearing the full story.

"Justice means you find what the truth is. How do you get the truth when you just limit conversation?" Blagojevich said on Sunday.

The trial is expected to last two months. It will probably last longer, if Blagojevich decides to take the stand.


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