THE DAILY CALLER
By MICHAEL TARM Published: 4:12 AM 06/27/2011 | Updated: 1:38 AM 06/28/2011
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his wife, Patti, leave their home Monday, June 27, 2011, in Chicago heading to the federal court after jurors informed the judge that they had reached agreement on 18 of the 20 counts against him in his corruption retrial. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
CHICAGO (AP) — Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been convicted of 17 of the 20 charges against him, many related to his attempt to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat.
Jurors deadlocked on one charge of attempted extortion in an alleged shakedown involving funding for a school in the district of then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel.
The jury found Blagojevich not guilty of soliciting bribes in the alleged shakedown of a road-building . The panel deadlocked on a charge of attempted extortion on that same case.
Blagojevich rode his talkative “everyman” image to two terms as Illinois governor before scandal made him the object of national jokes.
Because the allegations had to do with Obama’s Senate seat — and because Blagojevich never hesitated to talk about himself when media cameras were around — the case attracted national attention.
The verdict was a bitter defeat for Blagojevich, who had spent 2½ years professing his innocence on shows and later on the witness stand.
His defense team had insisted that hours of FBI wiretap recordings were just the ramblings of a politician who liked to think out loud. He faces up to 300 years in prison, although sentencing guidelines are sure to reduce his time behind bars.
He also faces up to five additional years in prison for his previous conviction of lying to the FBI.