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Jury convicts ex-Ill. Gov. Blagojevich at retrial

Rod Blagojevich, who rode his talkative everyman image to two terms as Illinois governor before scandal made him a national punch line, was convicted Monday of a wide range of corruption charges, including the incendiary allegation that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s Senate seat.
| By MICHAEL TARM | AP | 2011 |

The verdict was a bitter defeat for Blagojevich, who had spent 2½ years professing his innocence on reality TV shows and later on the witness stand. His defense team had insisted that hours of FBI wiretap recordings were just the ramblings of a politician who liked to think out loud. He faces up to 300 years in prison, although sentencing guidelines are sure to reduce his time behind bars.

The decision capped a long-running spectacle in which Blagojevich became famous for blurting on a recorded phone call that his ability to appoint Obama’s successor to the Senate was “f—ing golden” and that he wouldn’t let it go “for f—ing nothing.”

Blagojevich becomes the second straight Illinois governor convicted of corruption. His predecessor, George Ryan, is now serving 6½ years in federal prison.

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