Joe Fitzpatrick, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon, said the prosecutor’s office has received the ruling, but he declined to discuss it.
-2007: December 9: Federal agents arrest Blagojevich on corruption charges at his Chicago home.
Either side may have complaints about the appellate court’s ruling, but Blagojevich would appear to have the larger grievance.
Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor, said the ruling wasn’t a vindication for Blagojevich “by any stretch of the imagination”, noting the court did not find that he was wrongfully convicted.
At the heart of the convictions were Blagojevich’s attempts in 2008 to make money out of his power to appoint a replacement for, who was leaving his seat in the U.S. Senate representing after winning the presidential election.
Cramer said the government will nearly certainly throw out the five counts reversed by the court and attempt to defend the 14-year prison sentence Zagel already handed down. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, tossed out some of Blagojevich’s convictions that he sought to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat. Blagojevich wanted a Cabinet job in exchange for appointing Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to the vacant Senate seat.
In his remarks to reporters outside Blagojevich’s home, Goodman said he had not yet spoken to Blagojevich so he wasn’t sure about the next course of action.
NPR’s David Schaper tells our Newscast unit the ruling allows the Chicago Democrat to be resentenced and may shorten the length of time he remains in prison. He hopes Tuesday’s decision brings some “semblance of justice”.
He agreed to work as chief fundraiser for his brother in 2008.
The court addressed a key question concerning Blagojevich’s case over where the line between legal and illegal political wheeling was drawn, according to The Associated Press. He had argued that he didn’t break the law because he never stated explicitly that he was willing to trade an appointment to the seat for campaign cash.
The two-term governor proclaimed his innocence for years on talk shows, on NBC’s “The Apprentice” reality show and while impersonating Elvis – his idol – at a block party.
The appeals court ruled jurors in the Blagojevich trial were not “properly instructed on how to handle a specific instance of alleged corruption”.
The prosecutors will now decide whether to appeal the ruling, retry Blagojevich, or agree to let the charges drop altogether, according to The Washington Post. He is now serving a 14-year sentence in a Colorado prison.
Eleven of the counts jurors convicted him on dealt with allegations that he tried to swap an appointment to the Senate seat for campaign cash or a job.
Blagojevich’s lawyers blasted the ruling as legally unsound and said they’d consider asking the full 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rehear the case or possibly filing an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court – both considered long shots at best. He was also convicted of other pay-to-play schemes, including the attempted shakedown of the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago for a contribution to Blagojevich’s campaign.