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Betrayed by a Friend

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Betrayed by a Friend
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The FBI agent who wired Blagojevich's phones and the former law school roommate who took a plea deal to testify took the stand today -- one explaining exactly how the former governor was investigated, and the other explaining exactly why those investigations had merit.

Daniel Cain, a 24-year FBI veteran and the "case agent" for both the Blagojevich and Rezko investigations, took the stand first. Under questioning from the prosecution, Cain laid out the FBI's wiretapping procedure: 5,000 conversations recorded from September 22nd through December 9th at the offices of Blagojevich, his brother, and Lon Monk, among others. 1,100 of those calls were pertinent.

Cain testified that the investigation began when a source approached the FBI complaining that they were being extorted with regards to state board appointments. That complaint led to the Rezko conviction. The investigation continued, and the FBI received more information from John Wyma, a lobbyist and associate of Blagojevich. That's when the FBI applied for and received clearance to bug Blagojevich's campaign office in Ravenswood, his home phone and his cell phone.

While Cain testified, Blagojevich took notes. Patti Blagojevich, sitting behind her husband, whispered to her sister Deb Mell, a state representative who made her first appearance at court today. The jurors did not take many notes.

After Cain stepped down, Lon Monk entered the courtroom. Blagojevich followed him with a steely stare, which Monk did not return.

Monk has pled guilty to conspiracy to solicit a bribe and says he knows he faces two years in prison. He said he knows he will receive a longer sentence if he does not testify truthfully.

Monk then testified that he has known Blagojevich since law school.  They studied together in London and Monk was an usher at the Blagojevich wedding.  He went to work on the Congressional office, then as campaign manager on the first gubernatorial campaign.

As Monk testified, Blagojevich stared grimly. But Monk did not look at his former law school roommate, save to identify him to the jury.

Much of Monk's testimony included details already covered in previous prosecution statements and documents leaked to the public.

For example, Monk testified in-depth about a 2003 meeting in the Rezko office in which all four of the conspirators -- Blagojevich, Monk, Rezko, and Christopher Kelly -- discussed "different ways the four of us could make money" off state action.

"Rezko led the discussion," Monk said. "How the four of us could make money in different ways. He used an easel and proposed eight or nine ideas with a money symbol beside each one of them."

Did they involve state action from Illinois, the prosecution asked. "Some of them." How? "To create or purchase an insurance company to do business with the state."

Monk then said the plan was to divide the proceeds equally after the governor had left office, because "after the office there would be less scrutiny ... it was breaking the law."

This story will be updated.

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