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Judge blasts Blagojevich over courtroom antics

As the 2012 election is now over, Barack Obama has won a second term. Many wonder how his policies, his administration, and how the entire political arena, will change our future.

Postby greeney2 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:21 pm

How deep will this go into the Chicago corruption, which with all the players considered, and Obama a Community Planner, what the relationships were, and old bribes been. Anyone that doesn't think the Democratic President and Congress were not lobbying Rod heavily for that seat appointment is foolish. What did we just hear last week? Clinton the middleman is offering a Presidental committee Job, in exchange for dropping out of the race against Spector. :roll:

Judge blasts Blagojevich over courtroom antics
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Facebook Twitter Delicious Digg Fark Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Bookmarks .Print .. AP – FILE - In this April 21, 2010 file photo, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrives at the Federal …
. Slideshow:Blagojevich Corruption Trial .
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Thu Jun 10, 7:13 pm ET
By Daniel Libit
Chicago News Cooperative

It clearly isn’t easy for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, on trial for political corruption, to listen to a top aide testify against him. During testimony on Wednesday by Alonzo Monk, Blagojevich’s onetime chief of staff, the former governor sighed heavily, shook his head, and made various gestures at members of the audience.

But Blagojevich’s antics in and around the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago are starting to wear thin with both Judge James Zagel and the prosecution.

Thursday morning, Judge Zagel ordered Blagojevich to stop the gesturing and keep his reactions to testimony in check. The ruling followed complaints by Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar that his animated reactions were impacting the jury.

It wasn’t the first time the judge has attemped to clamp down on Blagojevich. Following media reports that Blagojevich and his wife had taken to Twitter, Zagel warned on Wednesday that no tweeting by the defendant would be allowed from the courtroom. Zagel further warned Blagojevich of the risks he was incurring by constantly talking to the media, but such cautions seem to have gone unheeded.

Of course, keeping the former governor quiet is no simple task. Blagojevich spent 18 months prior to his trial flitting about the country and the airwaves proclaiming his innocence to anybody who would listen.

Garnering as much media attention as possible appears to be very much a part of Blagojevich’s defense strategy; some observers believe it is a concerted attempt to draw attention away from the charges against him.

The U.S. Attorney’s office alleges that Blagojevich engaged in a conspiracy to leverage his position to make money, including a plan to cash in on his ability to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

Monk had taken the stand to detail the various schemes that Blagojevich and his lieutenants allegedly concocted to benefit from their official roles.

So far, Blagojevich’s courtroom behavior has been only a modulated form of the antics he has displayed outside the courthouse, where he regularly signs autographs and issues sound bites to the assembled cameras before getting into his car. (Watch video of Blagojevich's behavior outside courthouse)

U.S. marshals, who have agreed to escort him into and around the courthouse, have also shown signs of impatience with the former governor.

Inside the courtroom, Blagojevich regularly exchanges glances with his wife, Patti, who has manned the same post in the front row of the audience, closest to the defense table, since the start of the trial.
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