LISTEN: The Blagojevich Tapes - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

LISTEN: The Blagojevich Tapes



    Dramatis Personae:

    Rod Blagojevich
    Impeached governor, on trial for corruption.

    Rob Blagojevich
    Brother of Rod, on trial for corruption.

    Patti Blagojevich

    Wife of Rod, not charged with a crime.

    Tony Rezko
    Major contributor to Blagojevich's campaign, convicted of a kickback scheme and awaiting sentencing.
    Ali Ata
    Director of Illinois Finance of Authority under Rod, plead guilty to lying on tax return and federal agents.
    Stuart Levine
    Campaign donor for Blagojevich who pleaded guilty for participating in a kickback scheme with Rezko.

    Bob Greenlee
    Rod's former Deputy Governor, who resigned after Rod's arrest. Greenlee frequently discussed the Senate seat and its potential opportunities with Rod.
    John F. Harris
    Rod's second cheif of staff accused of taking part in the Senate seat scheme. Made a deal with the government to testify against Rod.
    Alonzo "Lon" Monk
    Chief of Staff and Rod's former roommate who plead guilty to the racetrack scheme. Made a deal with the government to testify.
    William F. Cellini
    Springfield broker who participated (with Rezko) in finding campaign contributions for Blagojevich. To be tried seperately.

    ***WEEK SIX***

    Blagojevich's former Deputy, Bob Greenlee told the jury about Blagojevich's testy attitude and his demands for good news. Later, his former Congressional chief John Wyma told the jury about Blagojevich's long-running penchant for trading legislation for favors.

    Tuesday, July 13 Journal -- Prosecution Rests

    Binder 1, Tab 1: Robert Blagojevich leaves a message for John Wyma regarding Children's Memorial Hospital.

    Binder 1, Tab 35: Robert Blagojevich leaves a message for Patrick Magoon with a female secretary.

    Monday, July 12 Journal -- Tedious Cross of Greenlee

    *** WEEK FIVE ***
    Testimonies show Rod's true character.  Deputy Governor Robert Greenlee tells the jury about his boss' absentee leadership. Greenlee says Blagojevich often hid in the bathroom to avoid conversations and only worked about 2-8 hours per week.  
    Most of the tapes from week five revolve around Rod and his staff vetting certain senate candidates, which include Valerie Jarrett, Jesse Jackson Jr. et. al.
    Thursday, July 8 Journal -- Governing From a Bathroom Stall

    Binder 1, Tab 11: Blagojevich and Greenlee discuss the viability of appointing Jesse Jackson Jr. to President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

    Binder 1, Tab 12: Patti, Rod and Robert Greenlee discuss a Tribune article calling for Blagojevich's impeachment. They consider pulling Cub's funding unless the editorial writers are fired.

    Binder 1, Tab 18: Blagojevich and Greenlee briefly discuss Obama's rally that night.

    Binder 1, Tab 19: Blagojevich and Greenlee discuss Rod appointing himself Senator and what reactions will likely occur.

    Binder 1, Tab 25: Blagojevich and Greenlee talk about foundations Rod could possibly head. Rod want his Sentatorial choice to be supportive of his causes.

    Binder 1, Tab 28: Blagojevich and Greenlee discuss why Obama supports Valeria Jarrett, and Rod tells Greenlee that he has expressed his desire for something in return for the appointment.

    Binder 1, Tab 31: Blagojevich asks Greenlee to look into a former Senator.

    Binder 1, Tab 32: Greenlee responds to Blagojevich's request and tells him that former Senator's wife lobbied in Washington while her husband was in the Senate, much to Rod's interest.

    Binder 1, Tab 42: Blagojevich asks for a writer for an environmental speech.

    Binder 1, Tab 43: Robert and Rod Blagojevich compile a list of campaign donators.

    Binder 1, Tab 55: Blagojevich inquires about a hospital rate increase.

    Binder 1, Tab 91: Blagojevich, Fred Yang and Greenlee discuss the results and implications of a Rasmussen Poll ranking the potential Senate candidates.

    Binder 1, Tab 92: Blagojevich tells Greenlee he wants to support Jesse Jackson Jr. to show up the White House for not offering him a deal.

    Wednesday, July 7 Journal -- Jesse Jr. Comes Out

    Binder 1, Tab 2: In a Friends of Blagojevich meeting, Rod, Rob and Alonzo Monk plan to call various contacts.

    Binder 1, Tab 3: Robert Blagojevich on the phone during a Friends of Blagojevich meeting.

    Binder 1, Tab 4: Robert Blagojevich and Rajinder Bedi plan an upcoming meeting involving Rod.

    Binder 1, Tab 5: Robert and Bedi speak about the meeting.

    Binder 1, Tab 6: Rod Blagojevich and Robert Greenlee mention Jesse Jackson Jr.'s "shamelessness". 

    Binder 2, Tab 57: Rod and Robert Blagojevich discuss the possible candidates and Robert gives "brother advice" to not "give anything away".

    Binder 2, Tab 65: Raghu Nayak tells Robert Blagojevich he has several wealthy guests coming to an upcoming fundraiser for Rod.

    Binder 2, Tab 66: Nayak confirms the delivery of two letters to Friends of Blagojevich.

    Binder 2,  Tab 67: Robert asks Rod if he has met with Dick Durbin and tells him to set his own agenda in the Senate appointment.

    Binder 2, Tab 89: Blagojevich and Fred Yang discuss the option of appointing Jesse Jackson Jr.

    Binder 2, Tab 93: Blagojevich tells his brother he is seriously considering appointing Jackson for revenge and wants word of his consideration to be spread.

    Binder 2, Tab 94: Robert Blagojevich and Raghu Nayak plan a meeting.

    Binder 2, Tab 95: Lucio Guerrero alerts Blagojevich of an upcoming Tribune article regarding phone recordings.

    Binder 2, Tab 96: Rod tells Robert to cancel the meeting with Nayak in light of the Tribune article.

    Binder 2, Tab 97: Robert Blagojevich reschedules the meeting with Nayak.

    Binder 2, Tab 98: Robert tells Rod he canceled the meeting and reminds him of an event.

    Tuesday, July 6 Journal -- Bullsh**ters Galore

    *** WEEK FOUR ***
    An IRS agent delivers damning testimony that paints Blagojevich as a materialistic narcissist who spent thousands upon thousands on fancy clothes.

    Many of the tapes from week four involve potential senate appointees -- with such fantastic names as Oprah and Lisa Madigan.

    Thursday, July 1 Journal -- The Governor's New Clothes

    Binder 1, Tab 34: In a conference call between Rod and Patti Blagojevich, Fred Yang, Bill Quinlin, Bill Knapp and Doug Sosnik, Blagojevich expresses his hatred of the governor position and where he or Patti could go in order to improve their lives.

    Wednesday, June 30 Journal -- Scofield's Scapegoat

    Binder 1, Tab 24: Blagojevich and Doug Scofield discuss the handling of the Senate appointment. Includes "F***ing golden" line.

    Binder 1, Tab 30: Blagojevich and Scofield talk about convincing Jarrett to appoint Rod to Health in Human Servies in exhange for appointing her Senator.

    Binder 1, Tab 36: Blagojevich tells Scofield he'll appoint someone else (including Jackson Jr.) if he can't get anything from Jarrett.

    Binder 1, Tab 39: Blagojevich and Scofield discuss an advocacy group and trying to confirm a benefit for Blagojevich from Obama if he appoints Valerie Jarrett.

    Binder 2, Tab 60: Blagojevich tells Scofield Jarrett is out of the running, and they discuss ways to gather donors for an advocacy group.

    Binder 2, Tab 61: Blagojevich asks John Harris the best way to contact Rahm Emanuel.

    Binder 2, Tab 62: Blagojevich asks Scofield to contact John Wyma about giving money to an advocacy group, with intent that Wyma will pass the message to Rahm Emanuel.

    Binder 2, Tab 63: Blagojevich and Scofield conclude there are no "great choices" but some good options for the appointment.

    Binder 2, Tab 34: In a conference call, Doug Sosnik tells Blagojevich that Madigan might  be the best pick, even if he wouldn't immediately  gain anything from her appointment.

    Tuesday, June 29 Journal -- Tom Balanoff talks about Valerie Jarrett

    Binder 2, Tab 47: Balanoff and Blagojevich discuss Jarrett's rumored disinterest in the Senate seat.

    Binder 2, Tab 48: Blagojevich relays the conversation he had with Balanoff to Harris.

    Binder 2, Tab 49: Blagojevich and Harris discuss what to say to Jarrett.

    Binder 2, Tab 50: Rod and Patti discuss Jarrett, Jesse Jackson Jr. and other candidates, including Rod himself.

    Monday, June 28 Journal -- "She's a Kingmaker"

    Binder 2, Tab 72: Blagojevich and Harris throw out more Senatorial candidates, Blagojevich mentions and defends Oprah.

    Binder 2, Tab 80: Harris and Bill Quinlan speak.

    Binder 2, Tab 90: Blagojevich begins to "objectively" consider Jesse Jackson as the best (black) candidate.

    *** WEEK THREE ***

    Blagojevich can be heard eliciting jealousy and animosity toward President Elect Barack Obama. Much of the testimony and many of the tapes from week three involve Blagojevich planning to Senate appointement strategy. Labor leader Tom Balanoff walks jurors through a series of conversations in which Blago talks about who would be a good fit.

    Thursday, June 24 Journal -- "Appreciation?  F*** them!"

    Binder 1, Tab 33: Blagojevich and John Harris relay a meeting with Balanoff to Fred Yang, and the three discuss how each possible Senate appointment could help Blagojevich politically and financially.

    Binder 1, Tab 37: Blagojevich and Harris discuss the likelihood of impeachment.

    Binder 1, Tab 38: Rod and Robert Blagojevich discuss the option of appointing Louanner Peters to the Senate and, if Blagojevich was impeached, have her step aside for him to take her place.

    Binder 1, Tab 40: Harris tells Blagojevich that he spoke with Nils Larsen of the Tribune, who is sensitive to their concerns.

    Binder 1, Tab 41: Harris and Blagojevich discuss possible benefits of appointing Valerie Jarrett and second options if they don't.

    Binder 1, Tab 44: Blagojevich and Fred Yang discuss rumors of Jarrett's change of heart about the Senate, and talk about starting an issue advocacy group.

    Binder 2, Tab 45: Harris and Blagojevich discuss Jarrett's appointment to the White House and Obama's new list of acceptable Senate candidates.

    Binder 2, Tab 46: Blagojevich asks Mary Stewart to get in touch with Tom Balanoff.

    Binder 2, Tab 54: Blagojevich and Harris discuss how the current situation impacts Blagojevich legally, personally and politically.

    Binder 2, Tab 56: Blagojevich and Harris discuss how appointing Emil Jones to the Senate could be helpful to Blagojevich.

    Binder 2, Tab 64

    Binder 2, Tab 71: Harris tells Blagojevich that Nels (of the Tribune) will consider firing McCormick, who pushed for Blagojevich's impeachment.

    Binder 2, Tab 77: Blagojevich doesn't want a Christmas party funded by his campaign.

    Binder 2, Tab 78: Harris and Jay Hoffman discuss the horse racing bill and Blagojevich's promise to sign it.

    Binder 2, Tab 81: Blagojevich and Harris discuss funding for the Chicago Cubs.

    (cont'd)Binder 2, Tab 82: Blagojevich and Harris discuss funding for the Chicago Cubs.

    Binder 2, Tab 99: Blagojevich and Harris discuss updates on several of the ongoing circumstances.

    Wednesday, June 23 Journal -- The Prince of Darkness Emerges
    Binder 1, Tab 22: John Harris and Rod Blagojevich discuss possible appointments Blagojevich could get for himself.
    Binder 1, Tab 23: Harris and Blagojevich relay their thoughts to Robert Greenlee, who promises to reserach various foundations.
    Binder 1, Tab 26: Harris and Blagojevich discuss the Chicago Tribune editorials, alternatives for the Senate positions and options that Blagojevich could appoint for himself.
    Binder 1, Tab 27: Blagojevich tells Patti about possible fundraiser positions, specifically at "Change to Win".
    Binder 1, Tab 29: Harris and Blagojevich talk about Valerie Jarrett and Obama's team's desire for her to be a Senator.

    Tuesday, June 22 Journal -- Strategizing for a Senate Deal

    Binder 1, Tab 9Blagojevich and John Harris discuss possible Senate candidates and which one will give  Blagojevich the most in return, specifically, an appointment to Health and Human Services.

    Binder 1, Tab 10Blagojevich and Harris talk the strategies of nominating a Senate candidate.

    Binder 1, Tab 13Blagojevich and Harris discuss tactical play, negotiations, and the thoughts of Obama's team.

    Binder 1, Tab 14Patti informs Blagojevich of Senate salary.

    Binder 1, Tab 15Comparison of Blagojevich's salary to that of a Senator.

    Binder 1, Tab 16Blagojevich and Harris discuss Emil Jones' event and the Tribune's push for impeachment.

    Binder 1, Tab 17Patti and Rod Blagojevich discuss the possibility of ambassadorship.

    Binder 1, Tab 21Harris and Blagojevich strategize how to approach potential candidates and what to say to them.

    Monday, June 21 Journal -- Track Owner Johnston Testifies

    *** WEEK TWO *** 

    Ali Ata, who was appointed to a cushy board position, Alonzo Monk, Blago's former best friend, and Joseph Cari, a honcho from the Democratic party, all testify that the ex-governor dealt in pay-for-play.
    Many of the tapes from week two deal with Blago's insider deals with Stuart Levine and Tony Rezko.

    Thursday, June 17 Journal -- Ali Ata Takes the Stand

    Binder 3, Tab 103

    Binder 3, Tab 104: Stuart Levine tells Joseph Cari about pulling an $80 million commitment from JER because they didn't hire Tony Rezko.

    Wednesday, June 16 Journal -- Joseph Cari Talks 

    Binder 3, Tab 101: Stuart Levine asks Sheldon Pekin what went on with Aramanda and his payments.

    Binder 3, Tab 102: Levine tells Pekin things with Aramanda need to be smoothed over for future business.

    Tuesday, June 15 Journal -- Adam Calls Monk a Liar

    Monday, June 14 Journal -- Monk's Cross Exam Begins

    Binder 2, Tab 51Monk gives Robert Blagojevich donation updates from Niranjan Shah, Gerald Krozel and John Johnston, the latter of which is "getting it together".

    Binder 2, Tab 58Monk recaps a fundraising event and discusses donation updates.

    Binder 2, Tab 59Robert relays Monk's recaps to Blagojevich, and the two discuss further donation sources.

    Binder 2, Tab 70Robert and Rod Blagojevich discuss donations received and those to come.

    Binder 2, Tab 73Monk updates Blagojevich on donations from Shah, Krozel and Johnston.

    Binder 2, Tab 74More campaign updates, and Monk informs Blagojevich that Krozel wants to discuss a gas tax with him.

    Binder 2, Tab 75Blagojevich encourages Robert to get a donation from Bruce Finkle.

    Binder 2, Tab 76Monk tells Blagojevich that Jerry Reinsdorf has agreed to a donation.

    Binder 2, Tab 79Monk and Johnston discuss the bill Johnston wants Blagojevich to sign in exchange for campaign funds.

    Binder 2, Tab 87Monk and Blagojevich discuss what to say to Johnston regarding the bill and the subsequent donation.

    Binder 2, Tab 83Blagojevich and his deputy governor, Robert Greenlee, discuss the bills Blagojevich needs to sign.

    Binder 2, Tab 84Monk and Johnston arrange a meeting.

    Binder 2, Tab 85Monk gives directions to Johnston regarding their meeting.

    Binder 2, Tab 86Monk recaps his meeting with Johnston to Blagojevich, and tells him he should receive Johnston's money within the week.

    Binder 2, Tab 88Blagojevich tells Monk to contact Bruce Finkle, Monk encourages Blagojevich to speak to Johnston.

    *** WEEK ONE ***
    Blago's case begins with opening statements, witnesses and the playing of the first wire taps.

    Thursday, June 10 Journal -- Monk's Cash Deal

    Binder 2, Tab 100: Rod and Rob Blagojevich discuss possible donators who could help boost Rod's campaign fund to $4 million.

    Binder 1, Tab 8: Rod asks his brother to contact Blair Hull for a $100,000 donation.

    Binder 1, Tab 7: Rod leaves a message for Lon Monk regarding Blair Hull.

    Binder 2, Tab 68: Blagojevich and Monk discuss updates on possible donations.

    (cont.) Binder 2, Tab 69: Monk and Blagojevich continue their conversation, in which Blagojevich tells Monk to ignore Jesse Jackson Jr.

    Wednesday, June 9 Journal -- First Witnesses

    Tuesday, June 8 Journal -- Opening Statements