Blago Retrial: Daily Journal 5/4

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What to Expect Today:

Rod Blagojevich's former chief of staff John Harris takes the stand for a second day. On Tuesday, he told the court Blagojevich asked Harris "how much" he could get for Barack Obama's Senate seat. Harris also suggested the former governor's claims that he wanted to give the seat to Lisa Madigan are false. A tape played in court indicated Blagojevich wanted to sell it.

The Day's Updates:

2:15 p.m.: John Harris is still on the stand and Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton asks him about the allegation that Blagojevich attempted to use the Senate for personal gain. "In the end, he wanted one for the other," Harris says regarding Valerie Jarrett, Obama's choice to replace him.

11:23 a.m.:

Jurors listened to a long-undercover tape featuring Blagojevich "war-gaming" employment opportunities with his chief-of-staff John Harris.

In the tape, Blagojevich is especially attracted to the idea of quitting his job as governor, to take over a national political operation of the Service Employees' Union. There is no suggestion that position at "Change to Win" was ever a realistic alternative.

At one point, Blagojevich laments his circumstances. 

"I was depressed on my election night," he tells Harris. "It's good to be re-affirmed by the people ... but I was almost like Nixon after he was re-elected, (expletive) angry the next day."

Blagojevich laments one aspect of the Service Employees' Union strategy. 

"They want me to be governor," he says. But he tells Harris the idea of taking the "Change to Win" position would have one great advantage. 

"You develop donors."

10:53 a.m.:
Court resumes with no explanation of the interruption.

10:31 a.m.: 

Proceedings are interrupted as a seemingly disembodied voice started saying, "Hello, hello..." repeatedly over the courtroom sound system.

It was obvious the voice was on a phone call, but it persisted, and at one point the person began whistling.

Judge James Zagel adjourned the proceedings to track down the problem.

Previous Journals:  

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

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