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

Judge James Zagel to jury: "You've heard all the evidence and the arguments"

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki, Dave McKinney and Abdon Pallasch

The prosecution finishes its rebuttal and Judge Zagel adjourns court for the day.

'Members of the jury, you've heard all the evidence and the arguments," he tells them.

He tells the jury it is especially important now that they avoid news reports and not talk about the case, and asks them to return in the morning for jury instructions.

That will be followed by day one of deliberations. Court is scheduled to reconvene at 9 a.m.

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Just wanted to add to the kudos for a great job, Natasha. I only made it to the courthouse for opening statements, but the blog has kept me well-updated. Any idea on how much lead time we'll have for the verdict? I think it's usually a couple of hours... depending on where everyone will be during deliberations.

Yes! Yes! I read the book! And, John Kerry married the Heinz widow! Also, John McCain married into a beer distributorship fortune! So what? As marriages go, it looks like Patti really loves her husband. AND, if you've read Rod's book, you'd know Dick Mel is a crazy person! Who kept trying to grab Rod, like you grab a puppet. And, then you manipulate the puppet with your hand stuck up "you know where!"

Nothing changes the fact that both Robert and Rob are wonderful brothers. And, Rod's wife treats her husband like she found a package of gold! Maybe, it's the Elvis impersonations?

There isn't a politician out there that doesn't raise money! Doesn't go to strangers every day to shake hands, and dial for dollars! (Now, if you take a moment and look at Nancy Pelosi. And, Rahm Emanuel. You'll see how the MONEY $$$ DING. DING. DING. Got handled on Nancy's instructions to search out Blue Dogs, so voters would choose a democrap over a pubbie.

What is it about politics, and the nature of politics, that few, here, seem to grasp? You think our Founding Fathers wrote a document for Sunday school?

Remember when Blago was out doing talk shows and everyone said he was an idiot? All part of the scam! His defense is that's he's just an innocent idiot. What a major con job by a slick politician and major crook.

Carol....a little history....Rod Blago married the daughter of a very powerful alderman by the name of Dick Mell whose part of the Daley machine who helped Barack (Barry when he was a community organizer)become president.He was groomed by Mell (who has no son of his own)in the traditional Chicago nepotistic way.He treated him like a son and Rod took advantage of that.When self centered Rod continued to climb the political ladder and thought that he was more important then the self centered needs of the total Democratic machine apparatus,they abandoned him.Rod's first mistake was to betray his father-in-law.The rest was downhill from there!Did his immigrant parents teach him how to steal?I don't think so!Don't believe everything in his book because it was written by him!There's always a story behind the story!Blago uses everyone,including his own kids!Taking the risk that the jury would get teary eyed by bringing his children into court to hear the government present their case which negatively reflects on their father is low.They should protect their children from those adult proceedings!Let justice prevail!!!e.g.George Ryan


Thank you so much for an excellent blog! I've read Blagojevich's book, GOVERNOR. I am so impressed with this man! From immigrant parents, if this is NOT the American dream, what is?

That people think Rod had to testify? WHY? There was no case against this man! I hope the jury sees through all the smoke an mirrors.

I've come to really dislike James Zagel! We're owed more than this by our "robed justices!" This case should have been dismissed. Wasn't. And, the judge brought the rope to hang the two brothers.

With a weak case, the prosecution actually shut down. And, even the hoopla machinery, which must be enormous in Chicago, is not heard out here in LA, at all. Nor does Drudge even run headlines.

Can jurors indict a ham sandwich? Sure. But I'm hoping the verdict is NOT GUILTY. If the jurors take their time? I wouldn't put it past Judge Zagel to order the air conditioning off!

Will someone please write a book! Libby got hung out for no reason. Dubya was just a coward! And, it did cost him. It cost him political capital! But poor Libby.

Fitzgerald deserves the same ticket that got punched on the prosecutor who accused the Duke kids of raping a whore.23nhe

So what I get is that since Blago has never confessed then he must be innocent.At least thats what his lawyer believes.Unless he confesses, its not beyond a shadow of a doubt.I hope the jury see's through that bs defense.

Was in the courtroom today -it was amazing.

I'll also unlurk to say that I've been probably been checking this blog 20 or 30 times a day. Almost as good as being in the courtroom. Thank you so much for all your hard work and vivid writing.

This blog was excellent in every way. Hope there's a Pulitzer in it for you two.

Thank you everyone for the kind words today. (And yes, Sarah Ostman has been my secret weapon throughout this trial.) We always appreciate the discussions generated here, all the feedback we've gotten throughout this trial and, of course, we appreciate your dedicated reading.
But please don't stop.
The blog began before the trial and will continue with updates as often as there's news.
-- Natasha

Seriously, this has been fantastic, Natasha & Sarah you both do an outstanding job!!! You would be amazed at how many outlets refer to your blog and the terrific job you do. I don't know who to write to recommend you for an award but I'm going to find out....
Congratualtions on your well deserved recognition...

Thank you Sun Times for allowing Natasha and Sarah to keep this blog up and running. I looked forward to it every court day. Good Job, girls for keeping Illinois citizens aware of many of the important happenings in this trial.

I agree with other posters! Outstanding job Natasha

Agree with the previous posters -- Great blog, Natasha. I would have felt very disconnected from what's going on without your detailed write-ups.

I agree - Natasha is the only one on the entire web that kept the public up on what was happening with the most antics in court. Excellent job.

Hope the jury finds Rod guilty - Robert, I believe was just a sucker.

I agree A. Mitchell! This blog has kept me posted every step of the way. Very entertaining trial. The Adams x Blago was lived up to all the hype.

Predicition..... NOT GUILTY!

With this trial - and this coverage - coming to close, I just wanted to say one thing:

I hope you get an award for this Natasha. An award and a raise. This blog has been nothing short of excellent. Thank you.

GO BLAGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 27, 2010 3:17 PM.

Prosecutor Reid Schar: There is no conspiracy here -- "the time for accountability for these crimes is now" was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich trial: Blagojevich defense gives theatrical closing is the next entry in this blog.

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