By Elise Viebeck - 08/17/10 09:43 PM EDT
A Chicago jury reached a partial verdict Tuesday in the corruption trial against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, convicting him on one out of 24 charges.
Blagojevich was found guilty of "making false statements to an FBI agent," a felony charge that carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence. Jurors said they were deadlocked on the other 23 counts after 14 days of deliberation, and the judge reportedly called a mistrial on those charges.
Blagojevich addressed reporters after the verdict, declaring his innocence, as he has all along.
"The government threw everything but the kitchen sink at me, and on every charge but one, they could not prove that I broke any laws except one, a nebulous charge from five years ago," he said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I did not lie to the FBI. I told the truth from the very beginning."
Sam Adam Sr., a Blagojevich attorney, called Fitzgerald "nuts" and a "master at indicting people for noncriminal activity."
The Tribune reported U.S. District Judge James Zagel gave the prosecution until Aug. 26 to decide whether to retry Blagojevich.
Many of the original charges — conspiracy, attempted extortion, and bribery, among others — stemmed from Blagojevich's alleged attempt to sell President Obama's former Senate seat.
The story emerged shortly after Obama’s victory in the 2008 presidential contest. A day after Obama won the White House, Blagojevich was taped by the FBI saying of the Senate seat: “I mean, I’ve got this thing and it’s f****** golden. And I’m just not giving it up for f****** nothing.”
Blagojevich eventually appointed Democrat Roland Burris to the seat. He was arrested in December 2008, and removed from office by the state legislature a month later. He has been barred from ever again holding elected office in Illinois.
The former governor also appeared as a contestant on NBC’s “The Apprentice” last year.
Blagojevich’s attorneys sought to subpoena a who’s who of Washington, including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), among others, to testify in their client’s defense.
None of them ended up testifying.
The lawyers also sought to have Obama subpoenaed, but the judge denied that request.
—This story was last updated 8:35 p.m.