Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Portrait of Robert Blagojevich as a Virtuous Man

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Robert Blagojevich was a hardworking man who had the best interests of his brother at heart -- unless those interests included selling the Senate seat, the defense argues.

    Blagojevich, who testified Monday morning that he separated fund-raising from legislative action, was presented this afternoon as a loyal fundraiser who never crossed the line.

    During a recording of a meeting with Indian businessman Babu Patel, the matter of Jesse Jackson and the Senate seat is raised.  Robert Blagojevich says, "He's going to do what's best for the State of Illinois, and nothing else matters."

    "Money is not gonna be a factor here!" Robert Blagojevich is heard saying.

    Robert Blagojevich says when he heard of Patel's proposal to raise money for Rod to get Jesse Jackson, Jr. appointed to the Senate, he dismissed it out of hand.  He said Raghu Nayak offered to raise as much as $5 million.

    But on another call, this one from Nov. 12, 2008 (portions of which were played previously by prosecutors), Robert Blagojevich is heard talking to his brother about the Obama senate seat.

    "It's tit for tat," he said, "I wouldn't give anything away!"

    Prompted by the defense, Blagojevich explained he was only talking about the possibility of appointing Lisa Madigan, and getting legislative help from her father the House Speaker.

    Elsewhere on the call Robert refers to Jesse Jackson, Jr. as an "articulate incompetent," and tells his brother Gery Chico would be the most "uniquely qualified" choice.  "He is true blue quality" he said.

    Also this afternoon, the judge was forced to take a recess after Robert Blagojevich started coughing uncontrollably after taking a drink of water.  "Wrong pipe!" he gasped, between coughs.

    He is fine.