NPR logo In Chicago, Judge Schedules Hearing To Discuss Retrial Of Rod Blagojevich


In Chicago, Judge Schedules Hearing To Discuss Retrial Of Rod Blagojevich

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, with his wife Patti , speaks to the reporters after a verdict at his corruption trial. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

As we reported yesterday, a federal jury found former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of making false statements to the FBI.

Because jurors couldn't agree on 23 other counts, prosecutors are pushing for a retrial. U.S. District Judge James Zagel has scheduled a hearing on Aug. 26.

Outside of the Everett M. Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, Blagojevich and his lawyers had harsh words for Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois:

"We have a prosecutor who has wasted and wants to spend tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to keep persecuting me," Blagojevich said.

Last night, Chicago reporters tracked down members of the jury, including foreman James Matsumoto. He told the Chicago Tribune that "he suspected early in the deliberations that the panel would have difficulty coming to an agreement, though they eventually did take a number of votes that were 11-1."

The foreman said the jury became exhausted listening to the undercover recordings of Blagojevich with holdouts unable to find "a smoking gun" that would satisfy them that he should be convicted.

Matsumoto said he wasn't bothered by the fact that Blagojevich didn't take the stand, the differing styles of the lawyers in the case or all the swearing on recordings of Blagojevich and other players in the case. The profanity was no problem for the four jurors who were military veterans, said Matsumoto, himself a Marine who served in Vietnam.