Blago's retrial less of a circus, more focused

It's a slimmed down version of the original trial from last summer where the former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was found guilty on 1 of 24 counts of corruption. For the disgraced governor's retrial, the prosecution dropped all but 5 "schemes" from the indictment, but kept the sexiest charge front and center - Blago's attempt to sell Barack Obama's old senate seat in return for campaign cash. The governor denies everything, stating that he did nothing that isn't done in politics everyday; horse trading, discussions of how to advance an issue, etc. The prosecutor summed up the case thusly: "The governor of Illinois was shaking people down," Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Niewoehner told jurors, 15 women and 3 men, including two African Americans. "He was abusing his power as governor to get something for himself, and every time he tried to shake someone down, he violated the trust of the people of Illinois, and he violated the law." It's interesting to note what charges the...(Read Full Post)