A federal jury in Chicago convicted former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 17 of 20 counts in his corruption trial. The jury deadlocked on two counts and found him not guilty on another.
A jury of 11 women and one man took 10 days to find him guilty of trying to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Obama when he was elected in 2008. According to the Chicago Tribune, he was also found guilty of wire fraud, attempted extortion, bribery and conspiracy.
Gov. Blagojevich, 54, testified for seven days, maintaining his innocence – claiming prosecutors had twisted his words on secret government wiretapped conversations from his home, office and campaign headquarters. He testified that he was merely brainstorming about who he might appoint to the Senate.
“I had no idea what I wanted,” said Gov. Blagojevich, according to The New York Times. “These were all potential scenarios.”
Prosecutors didn’t buy it though, saying the law focuses on “the ask,” not on whether there was a receipt.
Last year, Gov. Blagojevich was convicted of lying to federal investigators and he faces up to five years in prison as a result. He will face significantly more prison time after his conviction today.