WBEZ | senate seat http://www.wbez.org/tags/senate-seat Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Blagojevich jurors sort through confusing laws http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-jurors-sort-through-confusing-laws-87804 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-13/P1000884.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Tuesday marks the third day of deliberations in the corruption retrial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.&nbsp;</p><p>A teacher, a dietitian and a former church choir director are among those on the jury, which includes 11 women and one man.&nbsp;</p><p>One of the most difficult things jurors have to do is to go through the law and try to understand it before they can figure out if Blagojevich broke it.&nbsp;</p><p>For example, in order to find him guilty of attempted extortion, they have to find several things: that he acted under color of official right, that the victims would have parted with money or property because of the extortion, and that the extortion would have affected interstate commerce.</p><p>Jurors may spend a significant amount of time just trying to figure out what all those phrases mean.&nbsp;</p><p>Then they have to decide if Blagojevich took a "substantial step" toward extortion.&nbsp; That could include having a meeting where Blagojevich suggests a trade, as prosecutors say he did when he sought a job in President Barack Obama's cabinet in exchange for appointing Obama's preferred candidate to the Senate.&nbsp;</p><p>Prosecutors say Blagojevich took another substantial step when he directed one of his advisors to use back channels to push the idea of the trade with Obama's advisors.</p><p>The jury is wading through dozens of prosecution exhibits, including FBI wiretaps recordings.</p><p>Blagojevich faces 20 counts, including allegations that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat.</p><p>Jurors at Blagojevich's first trial deadlocked on all but one charge. He was convicted of lying to the FBI.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 14 Jun 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-jurors-sort-through-confusing-laws-87804 Blagojevich relied on advisors http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-relied-advisors-87256 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-31/Blagojevich Retrial_Robert Wildeboer_2011051315.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is scheduled to be back on the stand Wednesday.&nbsp; He's spent about 11 hours over three days testifying and he started addressing the so called senate seat allegations at the end of the day Tuesday.&nbsp; Those allegations include evidence that's arguably going to be the most difficult for Blagojevich to explain because he's heard on secretly recorded phone calls desperately seeking a high-paying job for himself or his wife.<br> <br> Blagojevich started his discussion of the senate seat by telling jurors that he talks too much.&nbsp; He also said that with big decisions he tried to get the perspectives of all his top advisors.&nbsp; He talked about each of his advisors, going into great detail on their resumes - even mentioning that one was valedictorian in high school.<br> <br> Blagojevich says he trusted his advisors and relied on them, suggesting that they should have stopped him if he was doing anything illegal.&nbsp; He also repeatedly said he relied on his general counsel in the governor's office for advice, once again suggesting that he didn't know he was doing anything wrong.</p></p> Wed, 01 Jun 2011 00:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-relied-advisors-87256 Prosecutors present damaging testimony in the Blagojevich retrial http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-11/prosecutors-present-damaging-testimony-blagojevich-retrial-86373 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-11/Blago getty Scott Olson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Defense attorneys for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich are facing a monumental task. Prosecutors have presented several days of devastating testimony in the former governor’s retrial. They’ve focused on allegations that Blagojevich tried to sell the former Senate seat of Barack Obama. That’s the theme they’ll hit hard again Wednesday.<br> <br> WBEZ’s criminal and legal affairs reporter Robert Wildeboer has been at the Dirksen Federal Building following the proceedings. He joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to discuss how the various legal strategies are playing out, and provide a view of all the key participants in the trial.</p><p><em>Music Button: Thunderball, "Domino", from the CD Scorpio Rising, (ESL)</em></p></p> Wed, 11 May 2011 13:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-11/prosecutors-present-damaging-testimony-blagojevich-retrial-86373