Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Blago Trial: Daily Journal 7/8

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    What to expect today: Testimony continues in the Rod Blagojevich corruption trial today, with jurors mulling a fresh scenario where the governor was heard considering an offer from forces backing Jesse Jackson Jr., whom they promised could put a million dollars in his campaign fund.
     
    Former state commerce official Rajinder Bedi was on the stand as prosecutors told Judge James Zagel that Bedi was present at a meeting with Jackson, and Indian-American businessman Raghu Nayak in October of 2008.  At that meeting, he said Nayak proposed raising a million dollars for Blagojevich, in exchange for Jackson's appointment to Barack Obama's soon to be vacant Senate seat.
     
    Bedi was not allowed to tell that story to the jury.  But they did hear that his proposal for fund-raising was met with a casual dismissal that same day, by Blagojevich's brother Robert.

    10:10 am 
    Blagojevich only spends 8 hours in the office

    Former Deputy Governor Robert Greenlee testified today that he rarely saw Rod Blagojevich face race to face. He estimated Blagojevich was only in the office 2 to 8 hours per week. [Read the full story]

    11:30 am
    Blagojevich Hides in the Bathroom

    Deputy Governor Robert Greenlee testified Thursday that Rod Blagojevich was focused on the possibility that appointing himself Senator might be the best escape from possible impeachment.

    Greenlee described an absentee governor who came to the office, at most, 2 to 8 hours a week.  He said it was his observation that as an advisor, you were either "in or out" in Blagojevich's eyes.  If you disagreed with him too much, he said, you were "out", and Blagojevich would cut off all contact.

    Greenlee gave the example of Budget Director John Filan.  "Filan wanted to talk about budgetary pressures that the governor just didn't want to talk about," Greenlee said.  He said he once saw Blagojevich hide in the bathroom to avoid talking to Filan. [Read the full story]

    12:00 p.m.
    Blagojevich Can't Get No Respect

    In a call from Nov. 4, 2008, Blagojevich tells Bob Greenlee he is furious with advisor Doug Scofield, for telling him he shouldn't appoint himself Senator.

    "He's making it sound like my fellow Senators would resent me," Blagojevich says.  "He's worried Quinn's gonna institute all kinds of investigations!" [Read the full story]

    2:30 pm

    Barack Obama's political camp did not want Rod Blagojevich at their victory rally in Grant Park on election night in 2008.

    Former Deputy Governor Bob Greenlee says the governor's press staff was worried about how that would look, and convinced the Obama camp to send an invitation if they promised he wouldn't attend. [Read the full story]

    2:40 pm

    Facing money troubles, Blagojevich considered the possibility that if he appointed himself Senator, his wife might get a lucrative lobbying job.

    "Hey, find out if a US Senator's wife can also lobby Washington while he's a Senator?" he asks then deputy governor Bob Greenlee.

    When Greenlee researches the matter and finds out there is no prohibition, Blagojevich perks up.

    "Why not just take that and do that for two years?" he says.

     

    Thursday Morning Blagojevich Coverage:

    The Blago trial still threatens to singe White House officials. [Politico]

    "Recordings .... of me?" Blago's Uh-oh moment. [Associated Press]

    Blago tries to woo LeBron [Ward Room]

    "F**k you, Harry Reid. [Sun-Times]

    Previous Journals:

    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!"
     

     

    Wednesday, June 23 Journal -- The Prince of Darkness Emerges

    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


     

     

     

    On the eve of the election, Blagojevich expresses hope for an Obama victory, but only because it might help him.

    "All the more reason Obama should win---pick a Senator!" 

    12:10 am

     

    In a call from Nov. 4, 2008, Blagojevich tells Bob Greenlee he is furious with advisor Doug Scofield, for telling him he shouldn't appoint himself Senator.

    "He's making it sound like my fellow Senators would resent me," Blagojevich says. "He's worried Quinn's gonna institute all kinds of investigations!"

    Blagojevich becomes angry. "My upward trajectory is f---ing stalled," he screams, "if not f---ing permanently disabled!"

    He talks about everything he believes he had done for the people of Illinois.

    "And what do I get for that? Only 13% of you think I'm doing a good job! So f--- all of you!"