Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Blagojevich trial: Ex-governor expressionless as government begins closing statement

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney

The courtroom hushes quickly and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Niewoehner launches into his closing argument.

In a calm, clear voice, he begins with what has perhaps become the case's most famous sound bite.

"On Nov. 5, 2008, the day after the historic election of Barack Obama, defendant Rod Blagojevich (responded) this way: 'I've got this thing and it's f-ing golden, and I'm not giving it up for f-ing nothing.'"

"This was the governor of the state of Illinois talking, scheming about his ability to appoint a U.S. senator to the U.S. Congress," he says.

"'I've got this thing, I'm not giving it up,'" Niewoehner continues. "It was about him, defendant Rod Blagojevich and not the people of the state of Illinois, who he had sworn an oath to serve."

The ex-governor is sitting with his hands folded, so far expressionless as he takes in these closing arguments.

As for defendant Robert Blagojevich, he started his day off well. Prosecutors dismissed one of the five counts against him, a wire fraud count.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 26, 2010 9:53 AM.

Blagojevich trial: Blagojevich daughters join parents in the courthouse for closing arguments was the previous entry in this blog.

Prosecutors on case: "The law doesn't require you to be a successful crook, it just requires you to be a crook." is the next entry in this blog.

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