After seven days, Blagojevich is off the stand

June 7, 2011

The Associated Press

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(Getty/Scott Olson)

Impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has finished testifying at his corruption retrial.

Blagojevich concluded Tuesday after seven days on the stand.

He told jurors he never tried to shake down executives for contributions. And he said he never sought to sell or trade President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat.

Blagojevich insisted his talk captured on FBI wiretaps was merely brainstorming. He said he never took seriously the schemes broached on recordings or made decisions to carry them out.

Blagojevich also claimed he'd believed his conversations were legal and part of common political discourse. He got that in even though the judge barred such arguments.

At times, he blamed confidants for actions that appeared illegal.

Under grueling cross-examination, Blagojevich occasionally became flustered. But he also counterpunched and repeatedly denied wrongdoing.