Blagojevich Convicted of Just One Count in Corruption Case
Updated: 6:47 p.m.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) was convicted by a federal jury Tuesday of lying to the FBI.
But after two weeks of deliberations, the jury deadlocked on the 23 other corruption counts that the Justice Department had brought in a wide-ranging case against the former governor, and the judge has declared a mistrial.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar told the Chicago Tribune, “It is absolutely our intent to retry this.”
Even if prosecutors don’t bring a second corruption case against Blagojevich, he faces a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the perjury conviction.
Speaking to reporters after the jury rendered its verdict, Blagojevich hinted that he would appeal the conviction, calling it “one nebulous charge from five years ago.”
The former governor accused the government of spending tens of millions of dollars to try to convict him.
“I want the people of Illinois to know that I did not lie to the FBI,” he said. “I told the truth from the beginning. This is a persecution.”
Blagojevich was arrested in December 2008 and accused of trying to sell a vacant Senate seat in Illinois, among other corruption charges. The case touched several prominent Illinois politicians, including President Barack Obama, some of his top advisers and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D).
After being impeached by the Illinois House in early 2009, Blagojevich, who served three terms in the House before being elected governor, resigned.