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LIVE BLOG: Blago Testimony Day 4

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Blago Explains [Bleeping] Cursing
Jack Higgins
Blago Explains [Bleeping] Cursing

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Follow Ward Room on Twitter to keep up-to-date with action in the courtroom.

Read live blogs of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's first, second and third days on the stand.

5:14  p.m.: Done for the day.  Judge accusing defense of stalling.  "I believe you are trying to run the clock."

3:41 p.m.: The "effin' golden" tape is played in court.  Blagojevich explains: "I knew this was a unique opportunity and I didn't want to give it up without fully discussing ideas, so I could make the best decision."

"I want to buy time.  Slow down.  And not let even the president-elect rush me into a decision."

3:21 p.m.: 
Blagojevich calls the "[Bleeping] Golden" conversation "heard around the world."

3:10 p.m.:  Blagojevich apologizes to Illinois taxpayers for having his employees research possible jobs and positions for him on government time.

3:07 p.m.: Defense asks what he meant on Nov. 5, 2008, when he wanted "something good" for the Senate seat. "Still to be determined and defined," Blagojevich says.

3:01 p.m.: 
"They were on their merry way, and I'm stuck with [legislative] gridlock and impeachment," Blagojevich says.

3 p.m.:
Blagojevich on his rant that he was being left behind: "Loneliness and Envy. They were all going to DC to make history."

2:53 p.m.: Explains that when he said, "I want to get the [bleep] out of [Illinos]," he was just in the process of trying to gather options.

2:42 p.m.: Blagojevich says he was "war gaming" in phone conversations when he was tossing around names, ideas and jobs he could get in exchange for Obama's Senate seat.

2:30 p.m.:  Blagojevich says he was "venting" when he said, "I'm giving your grandma a free [bleeping] ride ... and I'm only getting 13 percent. So [bleep] all of of you."

12:59 p.m.: "Not my view that you're trying to run out the clock, you just have a client who likes to talk and give campaign speeches," Zagel says.

12:57 p.m.: Judge Zagel wants testimony moved along. He says he plans to give defense today and one hour tomorrow to finish, citing Rule 403, "Unnecessary Duplication."

12:52 p.m.: "Repetitive answers will deminish the attention span of the jury," Zagel says.

12:50 p.m.: While jury breaks for lunch, Judge Zagel advises the defense team to skip lunch in order to remind Blagojevich to stck to answering the questions.

12:42 p.m.: "How much do I love the people of Illinois?" That's what Blagojevich would ask himself every time he'd consider Lisa Madigan for the Senate seat.

12:34 p.m.: Blagojevich says his first priority and standard for choosing a new senator was always to get "good stuff for the people of Illinois."

12:10 p.m.: Jury is brought back in.

12:09 p.m.: "He's going to obey my order and never refer to the asterisk again," Zagel says, very angry.

12:09 p.m.: Zagel orders Blagojevich not to refer to something deleted in front of the jury and make it appear the government eliminated favorable evidence

12:07 p.m.: Judge Zagel, clearly mad, says, "This is a back door effort by Blagojevich to raise something he can't raise ... so he smuggles them in."

12:01 p.m.: Jury is excused from courtroom when Blagojevich says he can't read the transcripts because 'there are stars' where words were removed by the govenment.

11: 59 a.m.:
"Inevitable stampede coming my way": How Blagojevich describes all the people who were going to start making offers for the Senate seat.

11:50 a.m.: Blagojevich says he wanted his chief of staff to look into the Health Human Services position because he wanted "a sense if I measured up."

11:44 a.m.: 
Blagojevich says his process of naming a senator was to be slow and deliberate. "Throw a lot of names and ideas out there," he said. "Not allow outside forces to make a premature decision."

11:39 a.m.: "Operation Empty the Cupboard" was a list of things Blagojevich wanted to accomplish before naming himself to the Senate Seat (if he did).

11:33 a.m.: There is also a bust of William Shakespeare in his library and a section dedicated to his books.

11:31 a.m.: Blagojevich admits, since he's under oath, that he hasn't read all the books but says he has read a "pretty good number of them."

11:29 a.m.: The picture shows lots of history books and a bust of Winston Churchill. Blagojevich calls Churchill "one of my biggest heros in history."

11:28 a.m.:
 Jury is shown a picture of the inside Blagojevich's home library. "I like to work out of there because I like the smell of old books," he says.

11:24 a.m.: Blagojevich is asked if he ever attempted to shake down anyone or threaten anyone over the Senate seat. "Absolutely not," he says.

11:22 a.m.: After a break, Day 4 of Blagojevich testimony finally begins.

10:44 a.m.: Zagel says Blagojevich can say, "I thought I could do it this way because I didn't think one for the other," but says he can't talk about the legalities.

10:40 a.m.:
 Judge Zagel will not allow the line of questioning in front of the jury that lets Blagojevich testify he thought making an exchange for the Senate seat was legal. Zagel says Blagojevich's historical examples are not necessarily analogous to this case, and are "extremely vague."

10:20 a.m. Argument continues about the testimony. Judge Zagel asks if Blagojevich honestly believes what he did was legal and points out  that on tape, he never asks about the legality.

10:05 a.m.: Offer of Proof is finished, and Blagojevich steps down before the jury enters. Prosecutors oppose the testimony, saying other lawmaker deals are not the same as this. 

10:04 a.m.: Blagojevich even compares his Senate seat "horse trading" to President Barack Obama's recent exchange with Hillary Clinton and her appointment as Secretary of State.

10 a.m.: During an 'Offer of Proof,' or questioning without jurors present, Blagojevich says he believed any deal made in exchange for Barack Obama's Senate seat was legal. His three reasons for thinking it was legal: his 15 years experience in politics, his extensive knowledge of history, and all the conversations were with political advisers and legal team.

9:47 a.m.: Court begins Wednesday with sidebar.

What To Expect Today:

Rod Blagojevich takes the stand for the fourth day in his defense. On Tuesday, Blagojevich spoke for the first time about the alleged "sale" of Barack Obama's Senate seat.

"I felt the Senate seat was one of my last, best opportunities," the former governor said. He explained that his brainstorming sessions on the seat were similar to his approach on any major topic, throwing out a raft of ideas in rapid fire.

"Good ones, bad ones, stupid ones, ugly ones," he said. "There was a method to the madness."

Blagojevich insisted that his real intention for the Senate seat was a hoped-for swap aimed at pleasing his political nemesis, House Speaker Michael Madigan. The former governor readily conceded he explored what he could get in return for the Senate appointment but described his intentions as a legal political "horse trade." [Read the full recap of Blagojevich's third day on the stand.]

Previous Journals:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 -- Blago on the Stand Day 3

Thursday, May 26-Friday, May 27 -- Rod Takes the Stand, Days 1 and 2

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 -- Emanuel, Jackson Testify

Thursday, May 19, 2011 -- Blago To Testify

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 -- Prosecution Expected to Wrap

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 -- Blago Friend Monk Takes Stand

Monday, May 16, 2011 -- Wyma Cross-Examined

Thursday, May 12, 2011 -- Better Day for Blago?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 -- Motion for Mistrial Denied

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 -- '[Bleeping] Golden' Tapes Played

Monday, May 9, 2011 -- Harris Cross-Examined

Thursday, May 5, 2011 -- Blago Considered Appointing Himself Senator

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 -- Harris Testimony Continues

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 -- Testimony Begins

Monday, May 2, 2011 -- Opening Statements Due Today

Thursday, April 28, 2011 -- Questioning Continues

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
-- 6 Jurors Left to Question?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 -- Opening Statements Likely Monday

Monday, April 25, 2011
-- Jury Selection Resumes

Thursday, April 21, 2011 -- Jurors Questioned

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 -- Welcome to the Retrial

Related Topics Rod Blagojevich, Retrial, Day 4
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