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Ex-President Barack Obama expected in Chicago for jury duty

Reporters outside the Daley Center hoped to catch Barack Obama on the way in to report for jury duty on Wednesday. | Mitch Dudek  Sun-Times

The 44th president of the United States Barack Obama answered a jury summons and arrived at the Chicago courthouse with stringent security and a motorcade.

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans said the former commander in chief "promised to do his duty" and was assigned to a panel that was not called to serve on a jury.

Obama took a private elevator with his security to the room, where he shook almost every hand.

On Wednesday, Obama did get the prospective juror experience of sitting through a decades-old, 20-minute video in which Lester Holt- now the anchor of NBC Nightly News but back then on local news -explained the ins-and-outs of jury duty.

Obama arrived at the justice center in Chicago by motorcade, according to several US media reports that showed him entering the building and being greeted by people at the courthouse. But Obama was ready to serve if told to do so, Evans said. In 2015, former President George W. Bush reported for jury duty at a Dallas courthouse. "If the former president can come, anyone can come", he continued.

Cook County pays jurors a rate of $17.20 for each day of service, and Evans said the court will be sending Obama a check, adding that his staffers indicated that the former president will likely donate his earnings.

Obama still owns a home at 51st and Greenwood, and is registered to vote in Chicago, although he and his family live in D.C. He also was not selected. In 2004, Oprah Winfrey was on a jury that convicted a man of murder.