A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out five of the convictions against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, as well as his 14-year prison sentence.
The other 12 counts remain intact and Blagojevich must stay in prison, but the court's decision could change his sentence. The five in question relate to wire fraud, extortion and bribery.
The appeals court said in its decision, "It is not possible to call 168 months unlawfully high for Blagojevich's crimes, but the district judge should consider on remand whether it is the most appropriate sentence."
Here is a rundown of the five counts that were thrown out, according to the indictment:
Count 5: Alleges wire fraud and “scheme or artifice to defraud” as the result of a Nov. 7, 2008, call between Blagojevich and John Harris “in which Rod Blagojevich, Harris, and Advisor A discussed financial benefits which Rod Blagojevich could request in exchange for the appointment of Senate Candidate B to the United States Senate.”
Count 6: Alleges wire fraud and “scheme or artifice to defraud” as the result of a Nov. 10, 2008, conference call between Blagojevich, Harris and others in Chicago, as well as various advisors in Washington and New York City, “in which they discussed financial benefits which Rod Blagojevich could request in exchange for the appointment of Senate Candidate B to the United States Senate.”
Count 21: Alleges that Blagojevich, along with Robert Blagojevich, conspired with Harris and others “to commit extortion in relation to the appointment of a United States Senator” and that Blagojevich, with Rob B’s assistance, “sought to obtain financial benefits for himself and his wife, in return for the exercise of his duty …. to appoint a U.S. Senator to fill the vacancy,” and talked about the “advantages and disadvantages” of selecting various candidates for the vacancy, and what might be gained, including a possible cabinet appointment or ambassadorship; a highly-paid leadership position with a foundation or organization; employment for his wife; and campaign fundraising assistance. The count also alleges that Blagojevich told his brother Rob “to cancel his meeting with the associate of Senate Candidate A,” after news broke on Dec. 5, 2008, of a wiretap, and that Rob agreed to do so.
Count 22: Alleges extortion by both Rod and Rob Blagojevich related to the appointment of a U.S. Senator.
Count 23: Alleges that both Rod and Rob Blagojevich, along with Harris, conspired to “demand things of value” in return for Blagojevich’s power to appoint a U.S. Senator.