Prosecutors slash case against Gov. Blagojevich

May 3, 2011

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Prosecutors have slashed much of their case against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, simplifying it down to one concept.

Prosecutors have slashed much of their case against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, simplifying it down to one concept.  Jurors from the first trial said the government's case was too confusing and prosecutors have apparently taken that to heart in a big way.

Blagojevich's brother, Robert, was dropped from the case, as were a couple of charges against the governor.  And in their opening statement Monday, prosecutors never mentioned Tony Rezko, a central figure in the Blagojevich saga until now.  And they didn't say anything about Patti Blagojevich getting sham real estate fees from Rezko.  They also omitted any mention of eye-glazing schemes like the so-called Pension Obligation Bond deal.

Instead they focused on five instances in which they say Blagojevich wanted to use his power as governor to benefit himself and they say as soon as Blagojevich made a demand, that was the crime right there, the demand was the crime.  That's something they failed to convince the first jury of.