Blago Retrial Less of a Draw - NBC Chicago
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Blago Retrial Less of a Draw



    Blago Retrial Less of a Draw
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    Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich faced a series of ups and downs this year, including starring in the Celebrity Apprentice in January. What else did the alchemist get up to?

    When the Federal Government first tried Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges in 2010, the court house was an event unto itself.

    Interested citizens, reporters and even court house employees lined up as early as 6 a.m. outside the Dirksen Federal Building just to get a spot in the courtroom or the overflow space a few floors below.

    Well-wishers showed up in droves to shake hands with Blago, or catch a feiry sermon from Sam Adam or Sam Adam Jr.

    This time around, not so much.

    No lines have formed outside of the courthouse. No one has jostled for position.  No one has made a bombastic speech. And during the opening statements, perhaps the biggest draw in trial No. 1, Marshals declined to open the overflow courtroom for lack of bodies to fill it.

    It would appear Blagojevich has lost his appeal.

    The case itself is far less interesting. The prosecution pared its charges down to a minimum and laid out its argument in simple terms, unlike the complex matrix of racketeering and corruption themes that defined the first go-around.

    Even the witnesses have been made less interesting. When John Harris, Blago's former chief of staff testified Tuesday afternoon, he tore through testimony that last time took him five days.

    This Rod Blagojevich trial ain't what it used to be.