Blago juror with Oprah tix excused

April 28, 2011

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(AP/file)
Tickets to one of Oprah Winfrey's last shows are "f-ing golden," Blagojevich joked to reporters Wednesday.

A potential juror who has tickets to see a taping of the Oprah Winfrey show has been excused from jury duty in the Blagojevich case.  She was concerned that the trial would interfere with the taping, though there could be other reasons that the judge excused her.

Blagojevich said he was happy that she wouldn't have to go through the trial, and said he was jealous. 

"I'm very happy that that juror was dismissed from the jury pursuant to her request so that she can actually go and do what is a once-in-a-lifetime thing and that is see the Oprah Winfrey Show," he said. 

Blagojevich then walked away from the microphones, but a reporter asked if he thought the Oprah tickets were golden.  Blagojevich stopped and smiled, and after a pause, he walked back to the microphones and said, "No.  I would say they're F-ing golden." 

That's a reference to a phone conversation he had that was secretly recorded by federal agents.  On the call he referred to his ability to appoint someone to Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat as a thing that was "f***ing golden."

So far 100 potential jurors have been questioned to see if they're able to give Blagojevich a fair trial.  About sixty have been "struck for cause."  Jury selection continues Thursday.  It will be the sixth day, including the day one on which potential jurors filled out a 38-page questionnaire.  Opening statements are expected Monday.