August 18, 2010 by Post Team
Blago Verdict, (CBS) A federal jury convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of lying to the FBI. Deadlock in the remaining 23 charges, prosecutors announced that there will be a retrial of the case. CBS News Correspondent Erica Hill Blagojevich discusses the verdict with CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford.
Hill: How big is this a setback?
Crawford: Erica, this is a huge setback. As we saw in the article by Barry, Pat Fitzgerald said that it was Abraham Lincoln crimes that would turn over in his grave. These are strong statements and the sentence was only in the weaker account. That’s a felony, lying to the FBI and is punishable by up to five years in prison. It’s the same crime of Martha Stewart was convicted. But a hung jury on 23 of 24 posts can only be characterized as a huge setback.
Hill: What happened here? Where the government is wrong in this case?
Crawford: I think there is a sense of complacency by the government. When they played those tapes, which took the jury just been really surprised and that the tapes show is that Blagojevich was a kind of profane and loud. That’s not exactly a surprise to members of the jury in Chicago politics. And the defense did a really good job of returning to the simple concept: Follow the money. And there was not a dime was the prosecution showed Blagojevich’s pocket, it was all talk. So it is a bad government or a criminal? The prosecution did not prove how the tapes led to criminal conduct.
Hill: So if there’s a new process when looking at this, does the prosecution or the defense have the advantage?
Crawford: double-edged. I think this time if it really favors the defense because the defense attorney made a huge calculation to open this view by saying that listening to Blagojevich, and that these acts were not criminal and at the end not to testify. So now the way the next, the jury did not consider that against him, but going around now they do not say in opening statements. It has two faces. The prosecution gets to improve his case, they know that witnesses will work, but I think that this time two may be cut to Blagojevich.
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