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Live Blog: Blagojevich Testimony Day 3

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Blago Denies Hospital Shakedown
Jack Higgins

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Read our live blog of Blagojevich's first two days on the stand.

5:03 p.m.: Day 3 of testimony ends.

4:54 p.m.: Blagojevich: "He (Jesse Jackson Jr.) has qualities that are not that great"

4:48 p.m.:  Blagojevich says he had "no inention of appointing Jesse Jackson Jr. to Senate Seat" when approached wITH $1.5M in 'political support'

4:25 p.m.: Blagojevich want to appoint a black war hero to the senate seat. "I wanted an African American Tammy Duckworth," he testifies.

4:18 p.m.:  Blagojevich describes Lisa Madigan as "an offspring of a foe", then compliments her dad's (House Speaker Michael Madigan) parenting because "I want to say something nice about him."

4:10 p.m.: Blagojevich says he "trusted and relied" on the judgement of all his political advisors.  He says he had a hard time making decisions.  "There was a method to my madness and then everything changed.

4:00 p.m.: Blagojevich on vacant Senate seat: "It's a rare occurance, big decision."  Says he felt the senate seat "was one of my last best opportunities to make best decision I could"

3:57 p.m.: Blagojevich said he worked from home a lot to "Hunker Down" ... to get away from men, women and interests who wanted money (from the state).

3:55 p.m.: Blagojevich said when it came to the vacant senate seat he talked "Incessantly."

3:53 p.m.: I was shocked" was Blagojevich's reaction to learn on the day of his arrest that the pediatric doctor rate increase had not gone through.

3:48 p.m.:  Blagojevich testifies that he thinks Wyma was setting him up when he brought up fundraising during a meeting in Oct 2008 at FOB

3:34 p.m.: "Startling, Shocking, Frightning, Terrifying" is how Blagojevich describes the news that former friend John Wyma was recording conversations

2:56 p.m.: After a court break, Blagojevich describes the news that former friend John Wyma was recording conversations as "startling, shocking, frightning, terrifying."

2:47 p.m.: Blagojevich's testimony is interrupted by his own wife, Patti, when an alarm goes off on her cell phone and she can't figure out how to turn it off

2:34 p.m.: "Low hanging fruit":  what Blagojevich calls previous campaign supporters and the ease of getting more cash from them.

2:30 p.m.: Zagel cuts Blagojevich off, urging him to keep his answers short. "I'm sympathetic to you," he says, "because I have the same bad habit." Blagojevich's reply:  "Can I say great minds think alike?"

2:20 p.m.: Blagojevich slips in that he had a cousin who died at Children's Memorial Hospital at age 12. Zagel isn't too happy about it.

2:17 p.m.: Judge Zagel scolds Attorney Aaron Goldstein for asking questions about events dating further than Oct. 17.

2:14 p.m.: Blagojevich testifies he had a good relationship with Children's Memorial Hospital CEO Pat Magoon. Magoon contributed to Friends of Blagojevich in the past, he said.

1:54 p.m. As Blagojevich goes off on another tangents, Zagel reminds him about yes or no answers.

1:52 p.m.: Says his life experiences shaped his commitment to health care.

1:50 p.m.: Blagojevich denies ever trying to shake down or threaten Children's Memorial Hospital CEO Pat Magoon for campaign contributions.

*** During an interlude in the hallway, a reporter asked Blagojevich about his favorite Elvis song. "I'll tell you what it isn't," Blagojevich said. "It isn't Jailhouse Rock!" ***

12:20 p.m.: Break for lunch.

12:17 p.m.: In 2008, Patti had trouble finding work, so Blagojevich said he considered appointing her to the Pollution Control Board. As he begins talking about the possible appointment, Patti leaves the room.

12:05 p.m.: Blagojevich talks about Patti's line of work and accomplishments, but he is scolded by Judge Zagel when he goes too far with his bragging.

11:50 a.m.: 
Blagojevich denies telling Lon Monk: "If [Krozel & Roadbuilders] don't perform, [bleep] them."

11:42 a.m.: Defense has filed a protest to the judge that prosecutors were "making faces" during Blagojevich's testimony and the jury had noticed. Judge Zagel says he will keep an eye out but reminds the defense they have people in their front row also making faces (Patti Blagojevich).

11:15 a.m.: Quick break.

11:13 a.m.: Blagojevich says he told Krozel that the request for a $100,000 donation before the Ethics Bill becomes effective would be Krozel's "last hurrah."

11:02 a.m.: Says he was late for a September 2008 meeting with Krozel and had to apologize for his tardiness. "It came natural to me," he says. "One of my many flaws."

10:57 a.m.: Blagojevich testifies that Gerald Krozel gave $100,000 in campaign donations for his "fledging" campaign for governor in 2002.

10:40 a.m.: Defense plays a phone call in which Blagojevich drops an f-bomb and swears about a capital bill. "You had to pick a call with me swearing," Blagojevich tells the attorney. He apologizes to jurors again for his foul language.

10:32 a.m.: Says House Speaker Michael Madigan was blocking everything he proposed. "It was a chess game," Blagojevich says. "It was a constant fight."

10:26 a.m.:
Blagojevich testifies he never tried to shake down, threaten or demand campaign contributions from construction executive Gerald Krozel or Illinois Roadbuilders. Krozel had testified he felt pressured to raise money for Blagojevich after the governor announced a massive renovation program for the Illinois tollway, which meant lucrative jobs for the road-building industry.

10:13 a.m.: Though Blagojevich joked the microphone trouble wasn't his fault, technicians discovered a binder was resting on the on-and-off switch. "I misspoke," he says. "Evidently it was my fault." Testimony resumes.

10:09 a.m.: Microphone troubles on the stand lead to a short recess. "THIS is not my fault!" Blagojevich jokes.

10:01 a.m.: Seventeen jurors are seated for the start of Day 3 of Blagojevich's testimony.

9:40 a.m.:
NBC Chicago has learned a juror has been dismissed from the trial. Juror #125, a white female, was removed by Judge Zagel for reasons not made public. Juror #179, a white female, will take her place in the 12 jurors deciding Blagojevich's fate.

7:15 a.m.: A crowd already is forming outside the federal courtroom for Blagojevich's third day on the stand. More than two hours before court begins, 19 spectators wait in line.

What to Expect Today: Rod Blagojevich's third day on the stand. During the first two days, the former governor denied several government allegations while offering long, winding life stories. He still needs to address accusations he tried to sell Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat. [Read more here ... ]

Previous Journals:

Thursday, May 26-Friday, May 27 -- Rod Takes the Stand, Days 1 and 2

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 -- Emanuel, Jackson Testify

Thursday, May 19, 2011 -- Blago To Testify

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 -- Prosecution Expected to Wrap

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 -- Blago Friend Monk Takes Stand

Monday, May 16, 2011 -- Wyma Cross-Examined

Thursday, May 12, 2011 -- Better Day for Blago?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 -- Motion for Mistrial Denied

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 -- '[Bleeping] Golden' Tapes Played

Monday, May 9, 2011 -- Harris Cross-Examined

Thursday, May 5, 2011 -- Blago Considered Appointing Himself Senator

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 -- Harris Testimony Continues

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 -- Testimony Begins

Monday, May 2, 2011 -- Opening Statements Due Today

Thursday, April 28, 2011 -- Questioning Continues

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
-- 6 Jurors Left to Question?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 -- Opening Statements Likely Monday

Monday, April 25, 2011
-- Jury Selection Resumes

Thursday, April 21, 2011 -- Jurors Questioned

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 -- Welcome to the Retrial

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