Yahoo!/AP: CHICAGO – A federal jury deadlocked Tuesday on all but one of 24 charges against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, including the most explosive of all — that he tried to sell an appointment to President Barack Obama's old Senate seat. Blagojevich was convicted on a single count of lying to federal agents, one of the least serious charges.
Prosecutors pledged to retry the case as soon as possible.
"This jury shows you that the government threw everything but the kitchen sink at me," Blagojevich said later outside court. "They could not prove I did anything wrong — except for one nebulous charge from five years ago."
Blagojevich — known for his showmanlike, over-the-top personality — showed no emotion as the verdict was read. Before jurors came in, he sat with his hands folded, looking down and picking nervously at his fingernails. He and his lawyer said they would appeal the conviction.
The verdict came on the 14th day of deliberations, ending an 11-week trial during which a foul-mouthed Blagojevich was heard on secret FBI wiretap tapes saying the power to name a senator was "(expletive) golden" and that he wasn't going to give up "for (expletive) nothing."
The count on which Blagojevich was convicted included accusations that he lied to federal agents when he said he did not track campaign contributions and kept a "firewall" between political campaigns and government work. It carries a sentence of up to five years in prison. Some of the more serious charges, such as racketeering, carried up to a 20-year penalty.
Blagojevich vowed to appeal the single conviction and declared that he was a victim of persecution by the federal government. He told reporters that he wants the "people of Illinois to know that I did not lie to the FBI."
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