A federal jury has found impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty on 17 of 20 counts:
A federal jury today convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 17 of 20 counts, finding he brazenly abused the powers of his office in a series of attempted shakedowns captured on undercover government recordings.
Blagojevich showed no reaction as the jury announced their decisions. Once the verdicts were read, he sat back in his chair with his lips pursed, looked toward his wife Patti and whispered, “I love you.”
As the first guilty verdict was read, Patti Blagojevich slumped into the arms of her brother, who stroked her head. She kept shaking her head “no” as the jurors left the courtroom, and once the judge was gone, the former governor grabbed his wife’s right hand and hugged and kissed her.
Blagojevich spoke briefly as he and his wife left the federal courthouse. “Patti and I are obviously very disappointed,” he said at a bank of microphones. “I frankly am stunned.”
“There’s not much left to say other than we want to get home to our little girls and talk to them and explain things to them and try to sort things out,” he added. The two then walked to a waiting car as some in the crowd booed.
Even his reaction following conviction exhibited the same arrogance, detachment from reality, and miscalculation that he paraded before the citizens of the state on a daily basis when he was governor. He should never have testified on his own behalf and I would be mightily surprised if he hadn’t been offered a deal to plead guilty. The cumulative sentence for these offenses adds up to 300 years. I can see no explanations other than monumental arrogance, delusion, and an overwhelming compulsion to be center-stage to explain a gamble that he has now lost.
I now wait for the other shoe to fall. Does he have anything worth trading to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison? There must be some very, very nervous bigwigs out there tonight.