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Blago's words may come back to haunt him

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich leaves federal court on April 21, 2011 in Chicago. With his first trial ending last year with jurors deadlocked on all but one count, Blagojevich now faces 20 charges in a simplified case where prosecutors dropped complex charges over concerns that the jury would not be able to follow the evidence. UPI/Brian Kersey
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich leaves federal court on April 21, 2011 in Chicago. With his first trial ending last year with jurors deadlocked on all but one count, Blagojevich now faces 20 charges in a simplified case where prosecutors dropped complex charges over concerns that the jury would not be able to follow the evidence. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

CHICAGO, April 26 (UPI) -- Federal prosecutors in the corruption retrial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said they will use one of his television interviews against him.

Prosecutors told the judge Monday they would use a portion of Blagojevich's interview on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" that aired just days before he was impeached in late January 2009, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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Responding to a question about whether it would be wrong or criminal to parlay his ability to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy for something of value for himself, Blagojevich said "absolutely," and that he had "absolutely not" done anything improper.

Blagojevich, 54, faces a trial on 20 federal charges, including allegations he tried to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat for campaign cash or a high-level job. A jury last summer convicted Blagojevich on one count and deadlocked on 23 others.

Prosecutors, who didn't use the clip during the first trial, say the segment is important because Blagojevich's attorneys at his first trial said their client had no knowledge of criminality related to the Senate appointment.

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U.S. District Judge James Zagel warned Blagojevich during the first trial and again recently against granting media interviews. The judge hasn't ruled on the prosecutors' request as jury selection continues.

So far 25 prospective panelists survived initial cuts, the Tribune said. Among potential jurors is a woman whose main concern about serving was that she would miss the May 10 taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

While acknowledging the juror's concerns about the taping, Zagel said she "will survive" if she can't use her ticket, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The Oprah Winfrey Show ends its 25-year run in May.

"But it's the last year, judge," Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar kidded.

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