Blago: They Have Recordings of Me? | NBC Chicago
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Blago: They Have Recordings of Me?



    (Published Wednesday, May 25, 2011)

    Wednesday was a bad day for Rod Blagojevich in federal court, as jurors in his corruption trial heard one of the former governor's alleged scandals unfold, on tape after tape, start to finish.

    The bad news started with businessman Rajinder Bedi, who testified that he was the emissary in an Indian community offer to Blagojevich of a million dollars in campaign donations, in exchange for appointing Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to the Barack Obama senate seat.

    Blagojevich didn't like Jackson, who he felt had betrayed him in his first bid for governor. But, as jurors heard on tape, the idea of a Jackson candidacy grew on him, as he eagerly described to advisors, not only potential political capital to be gained in the black community, but also the "tangible benefits" the congressman's representatives were offering.

    "There's tangible, concrete tangible stuff from supporters," Blagojevich said in a phone call recorded December 8, 2008. "You know, specific amounts and everything."

    On another call, Blagojevich instructed his brother to nail down the offers of support.

    "If in fact this is possible, then some of the stuff has to start happening now," Blagojevich told brother Robert, who he instructed to assume that the "whole world's listening."

    The whole world wasn't listening, but the FBI was, as Blagojevich learned that very evening from his press secretary, Lucio Guerrero.

    "They (the Tribune) are writing a story for tomorrow's paper that says as part of a federal investigation they have recordings of you. And also, (Blagojevich confidante) John Wyma's cooperating with the Feds."

    "Recordings of me?" a startled Blagojevich asks.

    "Correct," said Guerrero.

    Blagojevich called his brother and instructed him to call off the meeting with his Jackson contacts.

    He was arrested four days later.