Trials & Litigation

Blago Takes Stand, Discusses 'Almost Catastrophic' 1L Year, Initial Bar Exam Failure, 'Disco' Hair


Impeached former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich took the stand today in his second political corruption trial, telling a federal jury in Chicago the story of his life.

In hours-long testimony before he struggled to retain his composure as his wife began to weep in court and the judge declared a lunch break, Blagojevich described an “almost catastrophic” first year of law school, in which he was put on academic probation at Pepperdine University, a failed first attempt to pass the bar exam and much more, according to Bloomberg and the Chicago Tribune.

Asked about what Bloomberg described as his pompadour hairstyle, Blagojevich called his seemingly blow-dried do as “a remnant of the 1970s disco culture,” in which, he said, “a hairbrush is an extension of your right hand.”

Blagojevich said that is still the case for him. He also told the jury that he exercises based on “a certain narcissism” that drives him to “exercise less for the health reasons than to stay in shape.”

Convicted last year on only one relatively minor count in the case, Blagojevich is on trial again concerning the remaining charges, which include wire fraud, attempted extortion and extortion conspiracy. The jury last year deadlocked on 23 charges, but some have since been dropped.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “I’ll Use Prosecution Tapes to Win My Case, Says Impeached Ex-Ill. Gov”

ABAJournal.com: “Blago Trial Watchers Abuzz Over $400K Clothing Bill”

ABAJournal.com: “Jury Verdict in Blagojevich Political Corruption Case: Guilty Only of Lying to FBI”

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