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Blago Retrial: Daily Journal 5/5

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Follow Ward Room on Twitter to keep up-to-date with action in the courtroom.

    2:20 p.m. --
    Jesse Jackson Jr. Reportedly Offered $1.5M for Seat

    John Harris testified that Rod Blagojevich did a sudden about-face, considering Jesse Jackson Jr. for the Senate seat after initially rejecting him. The only thing that changed, he said, was the sudden large amount of campaign cash Jackson reportedly was offering, $1.5 million.

    1:50 p.m. -- Blago Wanted to Help the Cubs

    In the fall of 2008, Rod Blagojevich, a self-professed Cubs fanatic, wanted to help the team with a big state grant to fix up Wrigley Field. He told his then-chief of staff John Harris that he wanted to explore "green initiatives" that would enable him to give them state money. 

    And he wanted to give them $15 million. (Harris said Blagojevich wanted to "ingratiate" himself with the team).

    "Why are you fixated on that much money?" Harris asked. 

    "Because that's what the White Sox got," Blagojevich said.

    The White Sox were tenants of Comiskey Park (US Cellular Field), which is owned by the State of Illinois.

    10:48 a.m. -- Blago Considered Appointing Himself Senator

    Eight days after the presidential election, Rod Blagojevich decides he might be better off, from a legal perspective, if he appointed himself senator.

    After all, why would the Obama justice department continue to pursue him on issues like Tony Rezko, when the president had Rezko issues of his own?

    "If I'm in the Senate, it's not just mine any more, it's his too," Blagojevich told adviser John Harris.  "Is Obama more or less likely to want to contain that if I'm out there with him."

    "You know, Axelrod and Obama's people, you know, clearly turned, got the Chicago media to make Rezko all about me."

    10:15 a.m. -- Harris on the Stand:

    Blagojevich tells Harris on tape he's desperate over what the investigation had s done to his family. 

    "It's important for me to make a lot of money," he says, lamenting "the vulnerabilities that my family is under because of my public responsibilities that I've made my children and my wife vulnerable." 

    "I've got the scrutiny going on, lawyers to pay for.  How the he'll am I gonna send my kid to college?"

    What to Expect Today:

    The defense on Thursday could get their first chance to cross examine former Blagojevich chief-of-staff John Harris today, after a blistering two days on the witness stand, where Harris painted a picture of a governor obsessed with a single question: "What's in it for me." [Read a full report from NBC's Phil Rogers here ... ]

    Previous Journals:

    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