Rod Blagojevich appears in court
Online Staff Report
CHICAGO– Impeached Illinois Gov. Blagojevich made his first appearance in his second corruption trial in Thursday, April 21.
Blagojevich appeared in federal court with his legal team and wife, Patti Blagojevich.
Early reports indicated Blagojevich may not appear until after the jury was selected.
Judge James Zagel, however, ordered Blagojevich be present when Zagel begins questioning jurors.
His trial began yesterday when potential jurors began completing written questionnaires.
Blagojevich, 54, still stands accused of 20 crimes, including the charge that he put the U.S. Senate seat– vacated by President Barack Obama in 2009– up for sale.
The prosecution claims Blagojevich solicited for campaign cash or a top government job in exchange for the Illinois seat he had control of as governor.
The former Democrat’s first trial ended last August when a deadlocked jury failed to convict him on all but one count.
Blagojevich was found guilty of lying to federal investigators.
He could spend at least five years in prison for lying to the FBI and more than a decade behind bars if convicted on just one of the new charges.
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