Rod Blagojevich, who won the Illinois governor’s mansion twice before his big mouth and scandal made him an international joke, got some really bad news Monday.
He was convicted of at least 17 corruption charges, including trying to sell President Barack Obama’s Senate seat.
The verdict, coming after his first trial ended last year with the braindead jury deadlocked on most charges, was a stunning blow and defeat for Blagojevich, who spent the last 2½ years insiting he was innocent on TV reality shows and in the witness chair.
His defense team, who were apparently not all that good, posed a case that hours and hours and hours of FBI wiretap recordings were just the musings of a politician who liked to think out loud.
Of course, Blagojevich doesn’t have a monopoly on criminal behavior for profit in Illinois.
He became the second straight Illinois governor convicted of corruption. The man who sat in the chair immediately before him, George Ryan, is in the federal pokey serving 6½ years.
Blagojevic, when sentenced later this year, is most likely to get a prison term of UP to 15 years.
After hearing the verdict, Blagojevich turned to defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky and asked “What happened?”
Here’s what happened Ron, you got caught. You’re just another sleazy crooked politican who tried to cash in on your office and your big fat mouth got you in trouble.
Seriously, Ron, what happened? The jury decided you’re not a truthful person.
They decided you’re a disgrace to public service.
They decided you’re a bad guy.
They decided you were as guilty as sin.
And they nailed you.
That’s what happened, dumbass.
His wife, Patti, slumped against her brother after hearing the verdict, then rushed into her husband’s arms.
Before the decision was read, Blago blew his wife a kiss across the courtroom, then stood motionless, with his hands clasped tightly.
The verdict capped a long-running Nancy Grace/Joy Behar/Ricki Lake show in which Blagojevich starred while blurting on a recorded phone call that his ability to appoint Obama’s successor to the Senate was “f—ing golden” and that he wouldn’t let it go “for f—ing nothing.”
All that was missing was the single wide and the tornado!
The 54-year-old Democrat, who has been free on bond since shortly after his arrest, had little to say when he spoke with reporters as he left the courthouse, saying he was disappointed and stunned by the verdict.
Really, stunned? Disappointed?
Stunned at whar? The jury was smarter than you?
“Well, among the many lessons I’ve learned from this whole experience is to try to speak a little bit less, so I’m going to keep my remarks kind of short.” Blagojevich said.
Again, I say, no shit.
He added, that the couple wanted “…to get home to our little girls and talk to them and explain things to them and then try to sort things out.” His two daughters are 8 and 14.
And I feel for them.
The case exploded into scandal when Blagojevich was awakened by federal agents on Dec. 9, 2008, at his Chicago home and was led away in handcuffs. Federal prosecutors had been investigating his administration for years, and some of his closest cronies had already been convicted.
Blagojevich was swiftly impeached and removed from office.
The verdict is a huge victory for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, one of the nation’s most prominent prosecutors, who, after the governor’s arrest, had condemned Blagojevich’s dealings as a “political corruption crime spree.”
On Monday, he said the key question for the jury was whether to accept the defense suggestion that Blagojevich’s activities amounted to “the kind of political wheeling and dealing that is common in Illinois and around the country.”
In a dramatically rising voice, Fitzgerald said, “That couldn’t be any further from the truth. … Selling a Senate seat, shaking down a children’s hospital and squeezing a person to give money before you sign a bill that benefits them is not a gray area. It’s a crime.”
Fitzgerald also addressed a question that has hung over the case ever since Blagojevich was arrested: Why did authorities not wait until the governor actually made a deal for the Senate seat? Doing so might have helped ensnare other conspirators.
A U.S. Senate seat “should not be put up for sale. You should not let the sale happen. … Our job is to try to prevent crime, not just prosecute crime.”
Personally, I think they were afraid of whom they would catch!
On Monday, the jury voted to convict on 17 of 20 counts after deliberating nine days.
Why, oh why did it take nine whole days? Did they need time away from work?
Blagojevich also faces up to five additional years in prison for his previous conviction of lying to the FBI.
They get real pissy when you lie to them, really, don’t do it.
Blagojevich was acquitted of soliciting bribes in the alleged shakedown of a road-building executive. The jury deadlocked on two charges of attempted extortion related to that executive and funding for a school.
Judge James Zagel has barred Blagojevich from traveling outside the area without permission. A status hearing to discuss sentencing was set for Aug. 1.
The charges carry a possible sentence up to 300 years in prison, but federal guidelines mean he will serve only a fraction of that.
Ok, no one lives to be 300 anymore.
Judges have leeway in sentencing and can consider many variables, such as whether a defendant took the stand and lied.
Prosecutors have said that Blagojevich did just that.
Former prosecutor Jeff Cramer estimated that Blagojevich would get between six and 12 years. Another former assistant U.S. attorney, Phil Turner, guessed closer to six years.
When jurors spoke to reporters on Monday, they said the evidence was clear, but that “He was personable,” according to Juror No. 103. “It made it hard to separate what we actively had to do as jurors.”
Please do not tell me you felt sorry for this guy. He’s personable, so let’s go easy on him. From what I read, Clyde Barrow was pretty charming too…should we slack off if the criminal is a nice guy?
Juror No. 140 said she found Blagojevich’s testimony over seven days at times “manipulative. “Our verdict shows that we didn’t believe it.”
Fired from the Governor’s office, fired from “Celibrity Apprentice” by Donald Trump because he was unable to do simple office skills, the former Governor has now been fired from polite society.
He’s going to jail…for a long time.
He hasn’t said he’s sorry.
He probably won’t, and if he does, which he should, he’ll probably only be sorry that he got caught, not for the laws he broke.
What a Bobblehead!