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Prosecutors in Blago Case Drop 3 Counts in Hopes of Simplifying Retrial

Ex-Gov on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After presenting what may have been too complex of a case for the jury to digest the first time around, prosecutors in Rod Blagojevich’s corruption case moved Wednesday to drop three counts for the upcoming retrial, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The number of counts will now drop from 23 to 20. Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor, was convicted of only 1 of 24 counts in the first trial — for lying to an FBI agent. The jury deadlocked on the remaining counts.

The Sun-Times reported that lawyers in the case said just dropping two racketeering counts should eliminate at least 30 pages of jury instructions.

One of the allegations is that Blagojevich tried selling President Obama’s Senate seat.

The paper reported that Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar said in court the reduction in counts will help “streamline the length of the indictment” and the jury instructions.

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