Rod Blagojevich Gets New Hearing; Corruption Appeal Goes to Federal Court
By Staff Writer | November 16, 2013 03:14 PM EST
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is appealing his 2011 corruption conviction.
Next month Rod Blagojevich will go back in court. In a brief ruling filed Friday in 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Chicago yesterday, a federal appeals court agreed to hear arguments over whether to toss out his corruption conviction.
The court will convene on Dec. 13 to hear oral arguments on Blagojevich's claim that the court should overturn his 14-year sentence that he is serving in a federal penitentiary in Englewood, Colo.
Rod Blagojevich claims he was making standard political moves when he was caught on tape trying to secure a possible a Cabinet position, or take money, in return for appointing Valerie Jarrett as President-elect Barack Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate in 2008.
The recording caught Rod Glagojevich sayomg "It's a f---ing valuable thing. You just don't give it away for nothing. "If I don't get what I want ... I'll just take the Senate seat myself."
Valerie Jarrett was a senior adviser in the Obama White House at the time. Neither Jarrett nor Obama have been accused of wrongdoing.
In the end, Rod Blagojevich appointed Roland Burris. His appointment was upheld after a legal battle and Burris served in the Senate for just under two years in the Senate. Rod Blagojevich was impeached. He was later prosecuted.
In the filing opposing Blagojevich's motion (PDF), which was 169-pages, Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Riggs Bonamici wrote that the "evidence was overwhelming" that Blagojevich was looking to sell Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder and that broke the law. Evidence from the Blagojevich's trial showed that from supporters of then-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., offered Blagojevich $1.5 million if he would appoint Jackson to Obama's seat.
Bonamici wrote "Blagojevich led, organized, and directed substantially more than five government and fundraising employees and outside consultants, whom he used to assist him in exchanging official acts for personal benefits."
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