It’s been a big week for Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois who made a name for himself after committing acts that US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald declared would “make Abe Lincoln roll in his grave.” Except the jury couldn’t convict him on 23 of those 24 charges, and now the tables have turned on Fitzgerald, with the media rallying against a retrial and the Wall Street Journal calling for Fitzgerald’s resignation.RELATED: A Blagojevich Juror Speaks Out: Cynthia Parker Discusses The Trial
Judge James Zagel has already said he intends to call a retrial, especially in light of the news that Blagojevich was one juror away from a complete conviction. Many, however, seem to question the reasoning behind going through the entire process all over again. Reporters at Reuters and the Chicago Tribune have speculated that having yet another trial, especially so close to the midterm elections. In Illinois, questions are being raised over whether the money it will cost to host the retrial and defend Blagojevich will be worth it. And then there’s the positive press; Roger Simon at Politico is literally “cheering” for Blagojevich after his legal success. But perhaps the most unexpected reaction to the possibility of a retrial has been the backlash on Fitzgerald, who is now facing criticism for his failure to get Blagojevich convicted of most of the charges that extends as far as calling for his resignation.
In an editorial today, the Washington Post warned that a retrial could “cross another fine line” into “persecution” of the governor, rather than mere investigation. It wasn’t exactly a glowing piece for Team Blago– “the Blagojevich brand of politics is repugnant, beyond any doubt. It perverts democracy and puts moneyed interests over the common good,” it argues– but nonetheless the editorial calls for Fitzgerald to “stand down”– he “took his shot and lost.”