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Blagojevich lawyers, prosecutors make opening statements

By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

Chicago – Rod Blagojevich's lawyer said the former governor never attempted to sell Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder and only wanted to gain leverage to improve the lives of his constituents.

Attorney Sam Adam Jr. delivered a fiery defense in his opening statement Tuesday. He said Blagojevich's aim was to use his duty to name a new senator to break up a logjam of laws in the state legislature.

The often animated defense lawyer told jurors "there was nobody buying or selling nothing."

Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton told jurors in her opening statement earlier that Blagojevich saw the Senate seat as "a golden ticket" to benefit himself and help pull himself out of mounting personal debt.

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