In the end, America’s loudest disgraced ex-governor stayed silent. The defense rested its case in Rod Blagojevich’s corruption trial today, without putting a single witness on the stand.
Blagojevich had long promised to testify on his own behalf. But yesterday, after watching the cross-examination of Rod’s brother Robert, one of Blagojevich’s attorneys, Sam Adam Sr., said that he believed the prosecution had not proven its case, and that Rod didn’t need to take the stand after all.
Today, Blagojevich made it official.
The Sun-Times reports that the Judge James Zagel asked Blagojevich if it was his decision not to testify.
“It is my decision, judge, on the advice of my attorneys. I made the decision freely and voluntarily,” Blagojevich answered.
During a break today, the Sun-Times reports that Blagojevich signed autographs.
Late Update: Addressing the media this afternoon, Blagojevich said that Adams Sr.’s argument swayed him, and convinced him not to testify. “I’ve learned a lot of lessons from this whole experience,” Blagojevich said. “And perhaps, maybe the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I talk too much.” He then left the podium.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com