Reporting with Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney
Judge James Zagel has the jury taken out of the room and then addresses Rod Blagojevich.
The judge asks him to state his name for the record. "Rod Blagojevich."
Zagel explains to Blagojevich that it has to be his own decision not to testify.
"So now I'm going to ask you if it is your personal decision not to take the witness stand," the judge says
"Yes, judge," the ex-governor responds.
Zagel asks Blagojevich if he had discussed the matter with his attorneys.
"Yes, judge, fully and completely," he says.
And you have "deliberated in your own mind" after discussing with your lawyers? the judge asks.
"It is my decision, judge, on the advice of my attorneys. I made the decision freely and voluntarily," he says, speaking longer than necessary but sounding perfectly comfortable.
Zagel says he is satisfied and tells Blagojevich to sit down or remain standing.
"What would you recommend, judge?" the ex-governor asks.
"I would return to your seat," the judge says without hesitation.
Rod laughs and moves through his lawyers, touching one on the shoulder. Still smiling, he sits down, unbuttons his suit coat, runs his left hand through his hair, and with his hands clasps, sits and listens.