Blagojevich Flashback: Timeline & turning points in political career (Part 4: 2009-2010)

Blagojevich Flashback: Timeline & turning points in political career (Part 4: 2009-2010)


January 14, 2009: Blagojevich Impeached The Illinois House votes 117-1 to impeach Governor Rod Blagojevich, with the lone dissenting vote coming from Blagojevich’s sister-in-law, State Representative Deborah Mell (D), during first day as a member of the Illinois House. Joy Behar, Rod Blagojevich

January, 2009: Begins National Media Blitz
In an effort to boost public support, Blagojevich barnstorms the nation on a media tour that includes stops on ABC’s The View, CBS’s The Late Show w/David Letterman, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, among many others. Media tour continues well into 2010 and is accompanied by a regular gig hosting a radio show on WLS-AM in Chicago.

January 24, 2009: Blagojevich lawyer Ed Genson quits
Prominent defense attorney Ed Genson announces his decision to resign from Blagojevich’s defense team, citing differences in strategy. “I never require a client to do what I say,” Genson explains. “But I at least require them to listen to what I say”. Genson’s departure sets the stage for different legal approach at trial.

January 29, 2009: Removed as Governor
After ignoring the impeachment trial in favor of a national media tour, Blagojevich makes a surprise appearance in the Illinois Senate. He delivers an impassioned speech, largely without notes. In the end, it does little to dissuade the Senate, which voted 59 to 0 to convict. That night, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn is sworn in as Illinois Governor.

September 9, 2009: Publishes memoir
The Governor by Rod Blagojevich hits bookstores and Blagojevich hits the talk show media circuit once again.

April 4, 2010: Fired from NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” Blagojevich appears on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” with Donald Trump, but is fired after struggling to use a computer. Blagojevich Trial

June 3, 2010: Blagojevich trial begins
Jury selection begins in the federal corruption case against the former Illinois governor. Blagojevich faces 24 counts, including racketeering, wire fraud and attempted extortion. High profile allegations include charges that he tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama to the highest bidder.

July 21, 2010: Defense rests
Defense attorneys rest their case without calling a single witness in the trial, including Blagojevich himself. The move contradicts Blago’s repeated promises that he would testify.

July 28, 2010: Blagojevich case goes to jury

August 17, 2010: Guilty on 1 of 24 counts (Making false statements)
High profile federal corruption trial culminates in a guilty verdict in just one of 24 counts against Blagojevich. Jury is hung on the remaining 23 and the judge declares a mistrial for those counts. Feds vow to re-prosecute.

April, 20, 2011: Blagojevich retrial begins
As expected, federal prosecutors re-try Blagojevich, though the case is simplified and the list of charges narrowed from 24 to 20. Blagojevich enters the new trial without the assistance of defense attorneys Sam Adam and Sam Adam, Jr, who were part of his legal team during the first trial.

May 26, 2011: Blagojevich testifies
Blagojevich fulfills a pledge to speak directly to jurors. His first words on the witness stand, “I used to be your governor. I’m here today … to tell you the truth.” In total, he is on the stand for seven days.

June 27, 2011: Blagojevich convicted
After nine days of deliberating, jurors find Blagojevich guilty on 17 of 20 counts, including that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat.

December 6, 2011: Sentencing hearing begins