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Blago Trial: Daily Journal 7/20

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Blago Trial: Daily Journal 7/20

Jack Higgins

Follow the Ward Room twitter feed, with action from inside the courtroom. 

What to expect today: Testimony from Rod Blagojevich's brother, Rob, is expected to wrap up in the morning, followed by the most anticipated moment of the trial -- Blago on the stand. The defense team is expected to move rapidly through their case.

11:42 a.m.

Robert Blagojevich volunteered from the stand that he had been approached numerous times in pay-to-play scenarios, which he said he rejected out of hand. He noted one occasion where a man offered to make a "substantial contribution" for help with his Phd at SIU. In another case, he said Greek restaurateurs in Long Grove offered to hold a fundraiser, if the governor would arrange the redesign of a state road near their business. He said he refused to go along in both cases.

11:06 a.m.

While speaking about the Senate seat, Robert Blagojevich talked about his brother's scheme to appoint aide Louaner Peters, who he figured could step aside and let him have the post if he was impeached.

"I told him that was a dumb idea!" Blagojevich said.

He rejected the notion that his brother was trying to get Blair Hull to contribute $100,000 at a time he thought he might be in the running for the job. In fact, Blagojevich said he never even pursued such a big contribution.

"Rod liked to throw big numbers around that weren't realistic," he said.

Prosecutor Chris Niewohner said, "If John McCain would have won, your brother wouldn't have had an appointment to make."

"No," Robert Blagojevich said. "I wish he had!"

10:42 a.m.

Robert Blagojevich said he liked the idea of his brother as Secretary of Health and human services, that because of his record on health care issues in Illinois it seemed like a good fit. "If he'd said I want to be Secretary of Defense I would've laughed at him!"

10:23 a.m.

Robert Blagovich, the defendant's brother, continued his testimony Wednesday morning. He admitted passing along the resume of the niece of a major Korean-American fundraiser, but defended his actions.


9:40 a.m.

As Rod Blagojevich came into view, he shouted to the assembled 25th floor crowd, "Good morning! Something going on today?"

9:35 a.m.

State Rep. Deb Mell, Blago's sister-in-law and the only member of the Illinois Legislature who did not vote for his impeachment, is in court with her sister Patti Blagojevich.

9:15 a.m.

About 32 people with tickets were waiting to get in the courtroom. Another 25 or 30 were waiting in line for the overflow room.

7 a.m.

A crowd of about 50 lined up as early as 5 a.m. to get one of the coveted tickets for the big day. Here's what some of them had to say.

Tuesday Morning Blagojevich Coverage:

Will Blago give the performance of his life? [Wall Street Journal]

Tape blows hole into Robert Blagojevich's credibility. [Mark Brown]

Previous Journals:

*** WEEK SIX ***

*** WEEK FIVE ***

Wednesday, July 7 Journal -- Jesse Jr. Comes Out

Tuesday, July 6 Journal -- Bullsh**ters Galore

*** WEEK FOUR ***

Thursday, July 1 Journal -- The Governor's New Clothes

Wednesday, June 30 Journal -- Scofield's Scapegoat

Tuesday, June 29 Journal -- Tom Balanoff talks about Valerie Jarrett

Monday, June 28 Journal -- "She's a Kingmaker"

*** WEEK THREE ***

Thursday, June 24 Journal -- "Appreciation?  F*** them!"

Tuesday, June 22 Journal -- Strategizing for a Senate Deal

Monday, June 21 Journal -- Track Owner Johnston Testifies

*** WEEK TWO ***

Thursday, June 17 Journal -- Ali Ata Takes the Stand

Wednesday, June 16 Journal -- Joseph Cari Talks 

Tuesday, June 15 Journal -- Adam Calls Monk a Liar

Monday, June 14 Journal -- Monk's Cross Exam Begins

*** WEEK ONE ***

Thursday, June 10  Journal -- Monk's Cash Deal

Wednesday, June 9 Journal -- First Witnesses

Tuesday, June 8 Journal -- Opening Statements


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