As the trial for Rod Blagojevich begins, his brother, Robert, is using strong language to describe one of the government’s key witnesses. Asked in an interview how he regards John Wyman, Robert Blagojevich referred to him as “the Judas of this drama”.
Wyma, a former lobbyist and fundraiser to Rod Blagojevich, cooperated with the government and provided critical testimony.
“I really don’t know what pressure was brought on him,” says Robert Blagojevich.
“To me he is the biggest loser because he comes across as someone who has no loyalty, no backbone. No ability to take responsibility for his actions,” he says.
Zarc Fardon, the attorney representing John Wyma told NBCChicago: "If John Wyma is Judas, by extenstion that makes Rod Blagojevich Jesus. Mr. Blagojevich is entitled to his views. But in this regard he is wrong."
John Wyma he said "told the truth."
Robert Blagojevich also had reservations when asked about another key player, Alderman Dick Mell, the ex-governor’s father-in-law who early on claimed that Blagojevich was swapping appointments to state boards for campaign contributions.
When asked about Mell, Robert Blagojevich was clearly disturbed.
“I’d rather not comment on Dick Mell,” Robert said in an interview at his home in Nashville, Tennessee.
Not a word, he was asked?
“Not at word,” said Blagojevich.
Robert Blagojevich, whose own case was dropped last August due to a “disparity in charges,” is hesitant about testifying in court this time around.
“My attorney’s advice is, you have put yourself at risk enough,” says Blagojevich, adding that his attorney fears if he contradicts himself on the witness stand he could open himself up to new charges.
Still, Robert Blagojevich, who has had less-than-frequent contact with his brother throughout the trial, stands firmly by his younger brother’s innocence, and says that if asked, he would consider testifying.
“I’d give that serious consideration,” he says.
While Robert Blagojevich’s position on his brother’s case appears ironclad, the drawn-out trial process, which brought much unwanted attention to him and his family, has changed his opinion about other things.
Robert Blagojevich once was a devoted Republican and FOXTV viewer. But the former army lieutenant colonel says that once he tuned into the Bill O’Reilly program and heard himself referred to as his brother’s “bagman,” and his views and politics changed.
Blagojevich says, “I was angry and I have never, ever tuned into his show, FOX, MSNBC, none of those shows.”
He now describes himself not as a republican, the charges were brought during the closing days of the Bush Administration, but as an independent.
Still, Robert Blagojevich is optimistic in the outcome of the 20 charges his brother is up against in court.
“Whatever happens to him I am confident he will weather it and when it is all passed he will be a better person for it,” says Blagojevich.