Rod Blagojevich ‘Stunned’ At Guilty Verdict
Rod Blagojevich was found guilty on 17 counts of corruption on Monday in a Chicago courtroom and said he was “stunned,” by the verdict.
After being convicted on 17 of the 20 counts against him, Blagojevich addressed reporters outside the courtroom, telling them: “I frankly am stunned. There’s not much left to say, other than we want to get home to our little girls and talk to them and explain things to them and then try to sort things out. I’m sure we’ll be seeing you guys again.”
The former Illinois Governor turned reality TV star showed no emotion as the jury returned the guilty verdict inside the courtroom. After the verdicts were read he sat back in his chair and said “I love you” to his wife Patti, who cried as the verdicts were read and shook her head “no” as the jurors left the courtroom.
Blagojevich was found guilty on 17 of the 20 counts against him. The jury found him not guilty on one count of bribery and deadlocked on two counts of attempted extortion. Most of the counts carry a 20 year prison term, but he has not yet been sentenced.
Blagojevich, 54, was convicted, among other things, of trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat that belonged to Barack Obama before he resigned to become president.
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Last August, after a two-month trial and 14 days of deliberation, jurors deadlocked on 23 of the 24 charges Blagojevich faced; prosecutors had the option of retrying him or not – they chose to do so.
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The former governor was found guilty on one count of lying to FBI investigators, a conviction that could carry a prison sentence of five years.
Following his indictment and throughout the trial and re-trial, Blagojevich has adamantly denied the charges.
Since being forced out of office in shame, Blagojevich has kept a high profile, appearing in a Chicago comedy show, releasing a book, and competing on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice; he’s also appeared on numerous chat shows including Late Show with David Letterman and The View. In the summer of 2009, his wife Patti appeared on the NBC reality show, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here.