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But Mr. Ettinger said they drifted apart as they got older.

While his brother entered politics, the bookish Robert studied history in college, then joined the Army for five years. He continued to serve as a civilian in the Reserves, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Ettinger said Robert Blagojevich isn’t currently granting interviews, but last year, he told the Chicago Sun-Times how he felt hearing news of his brother’s arrest on Dec. 9, 2008.

“We sat there in horror, numb and horrified at what had happened,” he said.

Robert Blagojevich’s attorneys have only cross-examined a few witnesses at the trial that is heading into its second month. They’ve tried to stress his relative unimportance working for Rod. One witness confirmed Robert’s campaign office desk was the corner of a conference table facing a sink.

The most sensational evidence - secretly recorded FBI wiretaps - feature Rod, rarely Robert. The governor’s frequent rants are heavily peppered with profanities - cursing everyone from reporters to the president.

In Robert’s few appearances, he’s usually mild-mannered. But one conversation recorded before Rod’s arrest displayed tension between the brothers, as Rod tossed out ideas about the Senate appointment. Robert sounds incredulous when Rod says he could appoint an ally, then later ask that person to resign and let him take the seat.

“Oh, Jesus, that’s ugly!” Robert responds.

“What are you nuts?” Rod shoots back. “What’s uglier? That or being impeached?”