Charges Dropped Against Blago’s Brother Robert

Federal prosecutors will not retry Robert Blagojevich, the brother of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, for two counts of extortion conspiracy and one count each of wire fraud and extortion reports the Chicago Tribune.Assistant U.S. Atty. Reid Schar said the Justice Department was dropping the charges because of “the disparity in the roles” of Rob and Rod “in the interests of justice.”

Robert Blagojevich was not in court when the surprise announcement was made on Thursday. His lawyer Michael Ettinger said the federal government never asked Robert Blagojevich to testify against his brother, but acknowledged the brothers’ relationship has been “strained.”

The former governor was found guilty of lying to the FBI, just one of the 24 counts on which he was charged. Jurors said just one woman forced a deadlock on the most serious charge that he tried to sell the former Senate seat of President Barack Obama.

Unlike his brother, Rod Blagojevich — seen most recently on “The Daily Show” and signing autographs at Comic Con — still faces retrial on 23 counts.