Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Prosecution Opens by Portraying a Selfish Blago

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Prosecutors trying former governor Rod Blagojevich for the second time on corruption charges opened their second trial in much the same way as the first: portraying the defendent a selfish, irresponsible leader.

    "This case is about a governor who betrayed the people of Illinois." Chris Niewoehner told jurors, who were selected earlier in the day. "Instead of doing what is best for the state of Illinois, the defendant decided to do what was best for one person.  Himself!"

    The line of attack sounds familiar. But the case is slightly different, as prosecutors pared the number of counts facing Blago. .

    Specifically, prosecutors dropped counts 1, 2 and 4, and a single forfeiture count. Prosecutors said they did it because the counts were “duplicative” of other charges, and this will help streamline the case.
     
    In doing so, they essentially answered the complaints of some jurors from Blagojevich's first trial, who complained they found the jury instructions associated with racketeering especially confusing.
     
    All of the alleged wrongdoing in the thrown-out counts is covered in other charges.
     
    Blagojevich's defense is expected to offer opening statments later.