Getty Images / Scott Olson
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (C) is flanked by his wife Patty (R), speaks with reporters after arriving at federal court on June 8, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.
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What to expect today: More Monk. The defense took over questioning of Blago's former chief of staff lat Monday, and the cross-examination will continue Tuesday. If Sam Adam Jr. finishes with Monk, expect testimony from David Abel and Vinne Mazarrao.
In the face of possibly losing his freedom for many years, Rod Blagojevich maintains an almost inexplicably sunny demeanor, glad-handing courtroom observers in line or even total strangers outside like he is still hoping to capture their vote for a phantom office he cannot possibly obtain.
During a withering cross examination of former chief of staff Alonzo Monk, defense lawyer Sam Adam, Jr. asked Monk to revisit a 2003 meeting where he had previously testified that he, Tony Rezko, Chris Kelly, and Blagojevich, schemed to split up the spoils of state government. Monk had said he recalled Rezko putting as many as nine moneymaking ideas on a board.
"We talked about making money and splitting it ourselves," Monk said.
"This was the first time the four of you sat down and agreed to commit crimes together?" Adam asked.
"Yes," Monk said.
"At the time you're doing this you knew you were committing felonies with the governor, correct?"
But Monk said he could not remember specifically what any of the ideas were.
"You are starting to commit crimes that can get you 20 years in the penitentiary and you can't remember the first one?" an incredulous Adam asked.
"They were just ideas," Monk said.
"How much were you going to make?"
"I can't remember."
Pointing to Blagojevich, "How much was HE going to make?"
"I can't remember."
Adam hammered away, establishing that for such a nefarious set of alleged events, Monk could give very few details about alleged plots that most likely never came to fruition..
"The governor's sitting right there, right? Tell us what he said to 'ya."
"I can't remember what, if anything, he said," Monk admitted.
"You never got a dime, not one dime?"
"Correct," Monk said.
"To your knowledge, neither did Rod?"
"To my knowledge," Monk said.
With his hand resting own his son's shoulder, and a round of laughs, it almost appears as Sam Adam Sr was congratulating his son, Sam Adam Jr., as they wrapped up cross examination of Lon Monk this morning.
Despite over 45 objections by the prosecution, Adam slammed home the point that Monk was testifying, and was supposed to tell the truth, in order to receive a 2 year prison reduced prison sentence.
Adam would begin questions to Monk by asking "You really want a 2 year deal, right?", and Monk would answer "Yes".
"You have to tell the truth to get it right?" Asked Adam, to which Monk replied "Yes."
Earlier in testimony today Monk told the jury that state board and commisoner seats were given to anyone who donated $25,000 to FOB. But during his last question on redirect of Monk, Adam asked "didn"t you tell the FBI during questioning in February of 2009 that there was never a specific contribution amount tied to board and commisson seats?". Monk answered "I don't recall". Adam then reponded by showing him the transcripts of the conversation, which led Monk to change his answer to "Yes".
Abel testified briefly about the number of times Abel had spoken to Blagojevich. Mazzaro, who worked in the municipal bond department at Bear Stearns, testified that his manager would have been responsible for hiring the consultant on the $10B bond deal for Illinois in 2003. That consultant, Robert Kjellander, stood to make nearly a million dollars from the sale of the bond.
For Blagojevich's brief statement to the media at the end of the day, click here.
Attorney Sam Adam Statement:
Speaking to reporters after court Tuesday, Blagojevich attorney Sam Adam Jr. Said Lon Monk's testimony reveals that Blagojevich didn't try to extorn anyone [Watch Video]
Tuesday Morning Blagojevich Coverage:
The Blagojevich family hair takes on legendary status [Sun-Times]
Prosecution bets on Monk's horsetrack testimony [Northwest Indiana Times]