Blagojevich Guilty of Trying to Sell Obama's Senate Seat

A jury finds the former Illinois governor guilty on 17 of the 20 counts against him

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After ten days of deliberating, the jury in the Rod Blagojevich corruption trial has declared him guilty "on 17 counts, not guilty of one count and one with no verdict announced in court Monday, with verdicts on other counts still to be read," reports the Associated Press. The Chicago Tribune adds:

Blagojevich showed no reaction as the jury found him guilty on 17 of 20 counts against him. He then sat back in his chair with his lips pursed and looked toward his wife Patti with disappointment on face. The jury deadlocked on two counts and found him not guilty of one count.

Blagojevich had been accused of corruption for trying to sell Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat and for scheming "to shake down executives for campaign donations," the AP reported. Last year's trial eventually found the ex-governor guilty of only one of twenty-four counts--lying to the FBI--after jurors couldn't reach a unanimous decision.

In March, he sought to have the retrial canceled, citing his mounting legal defense fees. When he finally took to the witness stand this month, a courtroom circus ensued: he readily admitted being a "convicted liar," and said he wanted to take the Senate seat himself in order to help hunt down Osama bin Laden.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.