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Blagojevich guilty on just 1 count; feds vow retrial
Question of the Day
CHICAGO — A federal jury found former Illinois Gov. RodBlagojevich guilty on Tuesday of one count of lying to federal agents, and the judge said he intends to declare a mistrial on the remaining counts.
Prosecutors said immediately after the verdict was read that they intend to retry the case against Blagojevich and his co-defendant brother as soon as possible. He had faced 24 counts in all, including charges that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat.
His brother, Nashville, Tenn., businessman Robert Blagojevich, had faced charges associated with that alleged scheme as well.
Judge James B. Zagel set a hearing for Aug. 26 to decide manner and timing of their retrial.
The count on which Blagojevich was found guilty included accusations that he lied to federal agents when he said he did not track campaign contributions and kept a “firewall” between political campaigns and government work. It carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
The verdict came on the 14th day of deliberations. Jurors had asked earlier Tuesday for advice on filling out their verdict forms and a copy of the oath they took before deliberating.
Zagel said Blagojevich’s bond will stay the same.
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