Matsumoto said he wasn't bothered by the fact that Blagojevich didn't take the stand, the differing styles of the lawyers in the case or all the swearing on recordings of Blagojevich and other players in the case. The profanity was no problem for the four jurors who were military veterans, said Matsumoto, himself a Marine who served in Vietnam.
While gaining a conviction of the former governor on one count, the result of the trial was a far cry from the sweeping convictions in public corruption cases that Fitzgerald and his prosecutors have grown accustomed to. In his nine years at the helm of the prosecutor's office here, Fitzgerald has secured guilty verdicts for an array of public officials, ranging from aldermen to the patronage chief for Mayor Richard Daley to Blagojevich's predecessor as governor, Republican George Ryan.
The government case against Blagojevich was a vivid example of how slowly the wheels of justice can grind in public corruption cases. Blagojevich was arrested just weeks after he allegedly began plotting to sell Obama's Senate seat, but federal agents had been probing wrongdoing in the governor's administration since at least 2004 -- his second year in office -- and questioned Blagojevich for the first time in 2005 during his first term.
False statements made during that interview led to the single count of which Blagojevich was convicted Tuesday.
His trial at times took on an almost surreal atmosphere. The former governor endured a daily pounding from witnesses over his honesty and judgment, and his own lawyers ridiculed him as naive, silly, intensely insecure and "not the sharpest knife in the drawer." Wiretaps revealed a governor contemptuous of many and intensely jealous of more successful politicians, especially Obama .
Even so, Blagojevich paraded outside court with an air of "what me worry" confidence, pumping the hands of well-wishers, slapping backs, signing autographs, cracking jokes -- even proudly showing off his wardrobe after prosecutors revealed that he had spent lavishly on exquisitely tailored suits while complaining of chronic money problems.
His upbeat campaign-style demeanor didn't change even after the verdict as Blagojevich slapped backs and gave high-fives to well-wishers on the way out of the courthouse.
Stacy St. Clair, Azam Ahmed, Kristen Mack, Annie Sweeney, Matthew Walberg, Cynthia Dizikes and Duaa Eldeib contributed to this report.
--Bob Secter, Jeff Coen and John Chase