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Inherit The Windbag: Day 1 Recap

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jun 4, 2010 2:00PM

Now that you're all caught up on your Blagojevich Case history and the Opening Ceremonies concluded, it's time to get down to business. The business of selecting the jury. The first panel of 34 jurors was seated and Judge Zagel grilled them pretty good by all accounts. In particular, Juror No. 126 got Zagel's full attention regarding his juror questionnaire, having listed "bad temper" as a medical condition and claiming "self-interest and short-term interests will kill our country." Zagel asked the juror, "Is there anything you wouldn't say to get out of jury service?" While Zagel made the potential juror squirm, Blago seemed to be quite comfortable in the courtroom; the Tribune reported that Blago, "continued scribbling away on a notepad as the jurors are questioned, stopping occasionally to pick lint off the sleeves of his suit." But as the Sun-Times notes, maybe Blago is a little too loose.

In court, Rod Blagojevich broke into a smile at the mere mention of [The Celebrity Apprentice]. He turned back and shot his wife a knowing glance when one potential juror said she saw "Mrs. Blagojevich" on a program that involved "something about some bugs or something" -- an apparent reference to "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here."

But as the former governor took notes, joked with his lawyers and, at times, appeared to suppress laughter, his co-defendant brother was doing anything but.

Robert Blagojevich, sitting behind Rod, sighed deeply on a few occasions, seeming to grasp the gravity of what will unfold in the coming months. He had traveled to Chicago from Nashville last week and came to court Thursday with only his lawyers, saying: "I expect to be vindicated."

The day concluded with 29 jurors being questioned and the process picks back up this morning, right around now. The next few days will be more of the same so nothing too exciting is expected. For a bit of additional reading, the Chicago News Cooperative explored the the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, who provide the prosecutors handling the Blagojevich case.