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Blagojevich Trial: Tuesday, June 8 Wrap-Up

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Blagojevich Trial: Tuesday, June 8 Wrap-Up

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Tuesday, June 7th
Follow minute-by-minute updates at twitter.com/ward_room

Daily expectations: Opening statements (originally scheduled for 11am. Later postponed to 1pm). Sam Adam Jr. expected to be combastic. Prosection expected to be cool and collected.

~9:00am
Blagojevich spoke to reporters before the court went into session. He spoke again about respecting the jurors. "[They'll] be committing their time and giving up a lot of their summer -- quite possibly all of their summer -- to do their public service and sit in judgement of a member of the community," Blagojevich said. "They'll be the ones who will ultimately show exactly what has happened here."

Blagojevich also tried to introduce legendary journalist Jimmy Breslin to the media...um, yes...but Breslin seemed visbily uncomfortable.

10:05am
Rod and Patty Blagojevich have just entered the courtroomm. Rod is in his usual blue pintripe suit (apparently it's black). Patty is donning a black dress with white trim. No shawl at the moment. The waiting area outside the courtroom is full of about 40 press members with blackberries firmly planted in their hands, a dozen law students armed with highlighters and a handful of curious spectators with nothing but purses and umbrellas.  Most of them will be heading to the overflow room.  Lots of grumblings over the 10:45 start.

10:30am
Sam Adam Jr. (wearing his pink tie as promised)  just walked through the crowd outside courtroom. When a woman asked how it was going, Adam reponded in a jovial voice "Not guilty of course".

11:15am
The judge basically admonished the attorneys that now that the trial is beginning he might want to rein In his public statements.  He did not forbid him from speaking, however.
 
11:45pm
Jury seated. 11 women 7 men (13 white, 4 black, 1 Asian). Color: A woman who says she knows little about the case but remembers a lot of Jay Leno jokes, a Best Buy employee who heard nothing about the case but "knew he was governor," a former marine who was wounded in Lebanon and has trouble sitting for more than half an hour, an Asian- American man who Was born in a US detention camp during WWII, a retired Naval officer who has an enormous shock of gray hair and a Santa Claus beard, a retired letter carrier who has served on 3 juries.

11:45pm
Jury seated. 11 women 7 men (13 white, 4 black, 1 Asian). Color: A woman who says she knows little about the case but remembers a lot of Jay Leno jokes, a Best Buy employee who heard nothing about the case but "knew he was governor," a former marine who was wounded in Lebanon and has trouble sitting for more than half an hour, an Asian- American man who Was born in a US detention camp during WWII, a retired Naval officer who has an enormous shock of gray hair and a Santa Claus beard, a retired letter carrier who has served on 3 juries.
 
~1:30pm
Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton opens. Tells jurors that shortly after Blagojevich took office, a plan was formed to cash in. "Rod Blagojevich was trying to use his position as governor to get something of benefit For himself ... When he was supposed to be asking 'What about the people of Illinois,' he was asking 'What about me?'"

3:30pm
Michael Ettinger used his hour before the jury to distance Robert from his brother Rod both literally and physically.  He spent the first 25 minutes of his opening statement to talk about who Robert is. "He's not into politics.  He's a businessman" says Ettinger.   He spoke in lenghtly detail about Robert's backgroud; his education, extensive and impressive military career, his marriage to Julie, and the jobs he took that kept Rob "a half a world away from his brother".   "I want you to know as you hear evidence, who Robert Blagojevich is."  "(He) is not about money " says Ettinger to the Jury.  Ettinger says he even needed a phone list to start his fundraising calls.  

~6:00pm
The federal government opened their case against former governor Rod Blagojevich in terse and measured tones today -- and the defense roared back.

The two disparate styles mimicked the manner in which both sides have waged rhetorical warfare over the past 18 months. The government methodically laying out its case. Blagojevich, yammering and stammering and gesticulating for all -- for everyone -- to see. Check out the full wrap-up on the day's arguments.

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