Summer of corruption: Blago verdict watch & Jesse Jackson, Jr. watch; Update: Jury wants “clarification;” Update: DEADLOCKED; Update: Jury takes weekend off
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It’s Day 11 of the Blagojevich verdict watch.
Buzz from Chicago is that the jury deliberations may drag into next week.
Defense lawyers are now regretting that Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Senate Candidate No. 5) didn’t make it onto the stand, via Chicago Sun Times:
Michael Ettinger, attorney for Robert Blagojevich, gave an emphatic “yes” when asked if he regretted that Jackson didn’t take the stand after Rod Blagojevich subpoenaed him.
“I don’t know if I can at this point go into it. But it would have shown, you know, you’ve got the Jesse Jr. alleged bribery extortion. You’ve seen one side of it that I believe the evidence shows really didn’t occur. I believe the jury would have seen the other side of Jesse and the Indians if Jesse would have testified,” Ettinger said.
Rod and Robert Blagojevich are accused of attempting to go through Indian fund-raiser Raghu Nayak to extract a campaign contribution from Jackson.
Robert Blagojevich testified that Nayak in October of 2008 approached him offering $6 million in fund-raising for his brother if the then-governor named Jackson to the Senate seat then held by Barack Obama.
Robert Blagojevich testified he shut down the offer. Months later though, Rod Blagojevich tells his brother in a recorded phone call he wants to “elevate” Jackson and asks his brother to meet with Nayak and to talk about “tangible” support up front. His brother set up a meeting with Nayak but testified he never intended on making any quid pro quo offer.
“We were counting on Jesse Jr. being called,” Ettinger said. “Depending on what he said, I would have called Nayak.”
As I mentioned the other day, Jackson will be on the hot seat after the Blago verdict comes down. The House ethics panel has suspended its probe of his actions into the Senate trading scam until after the trial ends.
The Summer of Corruption rolls on into the fall…
Update: Jury wants “clarification” on a question, via Chicago Cooperative News. Meeting scheduled this afternoon.
Update…The jury is deadlocked and cannot reach agreement on “any given count.”
The Chicago Tribune reports:
U.S. District Judge James Zagel, reading from a note from jurors, said they had made “a reasonable attempt” after deliberating 11 days and had done so “without rancor.”
The jury indicated it wanted to know what happens if it cannot agree on a unanimous decision on every count. The panel had matched up specific acts in the case to individual counts and was unclear on what to do next, the note said.
“What is the next logical step?” the jury asked in its note.
Zagel said in court that he needs further clarification from the jury before deciding the next step.
Update 8/12….Jury only agrees on two counts.
Update 8/13…Jury takes weekend off.
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