"It's Permanent For Tonight" - NBC Chicago
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"It's Permanent For Tonight"



    Blagojevich's attorney provides the most concise summation of the trial's state of flux. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010)

    In a brief statement to reporters after the jury left Dirksen Wednesday, the lead attorney for Rod Blagojevich summarized the trial's current state of flux with a single droll comment.

    Sam Adam said Judge James Zagel had asked all attorneys not to speak to the press, and when asked by a reporter how permanent that silence would be, Adam simply said "it's permanent for tonight."

    Adam and the rest of the defense participated in a closed door session with Zagel earlier in the afternoon. The session concerned a note sent to the judge by the jury. That note, as was later reported, informed the judge that the jury was having difficulty reaching a unanimous decision on all the counts, and asked the judge what would happen if they could not agree on every count.

    But Adam said he couldn't divulge what was said in the closed door session.

    "The judge has asked the defense and the prosecution to make no statements," Adam said. "We can't help it and that's the way it is."

    The jury will continue deliberating tomorrow, and will likely communicate further with the judge about the state of their discussions. But, as Robert Blagojevich's attorney, Michael Ettinger, said, "We don't know what it means, the judge doesn't know what it means."

    So for now, Sam Adam's wry remark to reporters remains the best summation of the day's events.

    Is the jury permanently deadlocked? Well, permanently for tonight.