CHICAGO – After Rod Blagojevich was found guilty on 17 counts today, he tried to bribe the judge in court.
Saying he was “stunned,”Rod Blagojevich was tight-lipped today when a jury convicted him on 17 of 20 counts of corruption against him.
Blagojevich showed no reaction as the jury announced its decision. Once the verdicts were read, he sat back in his chair with his lips pursed, looked toward his wife Patti and whispered, “I love you.”
Then – he shocked the court. He stood up and he said, “Judge, I respect what my fellow citizens have decided. But, I’d like to make you a deal. I will give you $5 million, right here, right now, if you vacate their decision.”
Even more shocking, Judge Jonathan Samkel told Blagojevich that he would consider the proposal - as long as Blagojevich “upped the ante” a bit. Samkel than told Blagojevich that he can’t travel outside northern Illinois without permission – while the Judge is deciding.
Holding his wife’s hand, Blagojevich spoke in a somber tone to a crush of reporters in the federal courthouse. “Patti and I obviously are very disappointed in the outcome. I, frankly, am stunned. There’s not much left to say other than we want to get home to our little girls and talk to them and explain things to them and try to sort things out. And I’m sure we’ll be seeing you.”
Asked about the bribe, Blagojevich told reporters he had “something” on the Judge. “I’m something and it’s f*&)%ing golden.”
A woman, known as Juror 103, said Blagojevich’s testimony made reaching a verdict a bit more difficult “because he was personable.”
“It made it harder to separate that from what we had heard” in recordings, she said.
Another woman, Juror 140, said she sometimes found Blagojevich’s testimony “manipulative.”
“I would rather have heard just the facts,” she said. “I think (with) our verdict, we did not believe it (the testimony).”
When the jurors heard the bribe they were upset – “he could have slipped a note to us, offering us some money, but I guess he didn’t think we were worth it. Screw him.”
Illinois has a long history of bribery – especially public officials and judges – so most citizens were not surprised by the bribe and expect the judge to take it. “He’d be crazy not to,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.