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Live Blog: Cross-Examining Blago

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Live Blog: Cross-Examining Blago
Jack Higgins
Live Blog: Cross-Examining Blago

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

Read live blogs of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's first, second, third, fourth and fifth days on the stand.

4:40 p.m: Jury is excused for the day. 

4:20 p.m.: Blagojevich discusses the Fall of '08 when he worked fomr home to "hunker down and avoid people and interests wanting money," but attended dozens of fundraisers.

3:50 p.m.: After a 20-minute break, court session continues with prosecution grilling Blajojevich on stand.

3:07 p.m.: Blagojevich continues to testify that the rack track bill signing and $100,000 donation were "not supposed to cross the line [or] be one for the other."

2:50 p.m.: "I was scrupulous to never use campaign funds for personal use," Blagojevich says. "So [campaign funds] were of no personal value to me."

2:45 p.m.: "Weren't you laregly disengaged from bill review process?" Schar asks about claims Blagojevich wanted to read through the Race Track bill.

2:27 p.m.: Reporter Natash Korecki notes that jurors are only giving faint smiles at best to Blagojevich's jokes today.

2:26 p.m.: Blagojevich ignores defense objections, saying, "I want to answer that. Is that OK if I override my lawyers?" Judge Zagel: "Been doing it all along."

2:16 p.m.: Blagojevich talks about remembering favors, or "favor banking."

2:15 p.m.: Back in court, prosecutors move to Chicago Academy shakedown charges.

12:42 p.m.: Judge calls for lunch break

12:40 p.m.: Prosecutors use an interview from "The Rachel Maddow Show" to contradict a phone call in which Blagojevich demands The Tribune's editorial staff be fired.

During the interview, Maddow asks Blagojevich, "Do you agree, that it would be wrong, it would be criminal, for you to try to exchange Barack Obama's Senate seat .. for something that would be of value to you?" [Read more about that interview here ... ]

12:34 p.m.: 
Schar asks Blagojevich about The Chicago Tribune editorial board calling for his impeachment. "You wanted them to lay off of you, right?" he asks. Blagojevich says: "Yeah, and all the other newspapers."

12:20 p.m.: "You didn't discuss 501c4 much after Nov. 13 because Valerie Jarrett went to the White House?" Schar asks. "They didn't get the keys until Jan. 20," Blagojevich responds.

12:18 p.m.: Schar asks Blagojevich, "You didn't want to call Rahm Emanuel and request millions (for 501c4) because it was connected to the Senate seat?"

"No," Blagojevich says.

11:08 a.m.: "I'm a Cubs fan. Keeping hope alive," Blagojevich says of his reason for pressing on about HHS, even though he thought it was "doubtful" he'd get it.

11:01 a.m.: Blagojevich, who has been scolded in the past for giving long, winding answers, is better today at answering the questions asked. But he is still asking to explain phone conversations instead of answering yes or no.

10:56 a.m.: "Getting into HHS was a long shot," Blagojevich says. Schar responds: "You've made a career out of taking long shots."

10:55 a.m.: "If you would've gotten [Health and Human Services], you would've put Valerie Jarrett in the Senate in a heartbeat," Schar says. Blagojevich says: "I'm not sure what I would have done."

10:34 a.m.: 
Blagojevich says he didn't think he had the power to name a successor for Emanuel.

10:30 a.m.: Schar questions Blagojevich about Rahm Emanuel. Blagojevich acknowledges that Emanuel, who at the time was starting as President Obama's chief of staff, asked him to make a temporary appointment to Emanuel's Congress seat.

10:25 a.m.:
Prosecutor Reid Schar does not question Blagojevich after the call is played, so Rod asks, "Can I explain?" Judge Zagel says no.

10:24 a.m.: A calmer Reid Schar begins today with a Dec 8th phone call in which #Blagojevich says he's waiting until Jan 6th to fill the senate seat

10:08 a.m.: Audio trouble in the courtroom has delayed the start of the trial.

10 a.m.: Starting at 5 a.m., more than 60 people lined up to get a public pass to watch the cross-examination of Rod Blagojevich. Only 20 will get in.

What to Expect Today: A full day of brutal questions from the prosecution. After the defense finished questioning former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, prosecutors got a crack at him. They opened with this: "Mr. Blagojevich, you are a convicted liar, correct?" attorney Reid Schar asked Blagojevich.

After Judge James Zagel overruled a flurry of objections from the defense lawyers, Blagojevich answered, "Yes." 

Previous Journals:

Thursday, June 2, 2011 -- Prosecutors Begin Their Attack

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 -- Blago on the Stand Day 4

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 -- Blago on the Stand Day 3

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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