Archive for June, 2010

Placating Blagojevich

Blagojevich political adviser Doug Scofield admitted today he often told Blagojevich what he wanted to hear.  “Does that mean you were lying to him?” asked defense attorney Aaron Goldstein in his cross-examination of Scofield.  “No,” said Scofield, “but I had made a decision to placate him.” This is at the heart of the defense argument […]

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Sage Advice

In the days after Barack Obama’s election, Blagojevich continued to have multiple conversations over what he could get in exchange for picking Valerie Jarrett for Obama’s Senate seat.  In one taped conversation with adviser Doug Scofield, he muses, referring to Jarrett, “She’s holding H.H.S. and I’m holding a U.S. Senate seat.  She’s clinging to little […]

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Blago for President

It’s the day after Barack Obama’s election as president.  On a secretly recorded tape,  Blagojevich is musing about what might have been. He asks political adviser Doug Scofield, “There’s nothing I could have done, right? I could have worked my ass off, hired Axelrod, and I would have been just one more white guy in […]

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Blagojevich Vows to Testify

The defense made its first effort to introduce a secretly recorded conversation today.  So far, the prosecution has played 61 tapes; all have been submitted as evidence and have formed the backbone of the case against Blagojevich.  But Judge Zagel turned the defense down, saying the tape, a conversation between Blagojevich and John Harris, would be considered […]

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Tom Balanoff

Labor leader Tom Balanoff told the jury it was clear to him that Rod Blagojevich wanted help in funding a 501(c)(3) public service organization in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the Senate.  But Balanoff said he had no intention of talking to anyone about the request.  Earlier Balanoff recounted a meeting with Valerie Jarrett, […]

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Harris Descends from Stand

After six days, ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich’s onetime Chief of Staff John Harris has finished testifying.  Harris did not make any statements as he left the Dirksen Federal Building, but his attorney Terry Ekl did stop briefly to speak with waiting press.

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Defense Strategy

The defense strategy began to emerge today as Sam Adam Sr. ended his cross examination of John Harris.  Adam Sr. repeatedly asked Harris whether creating a position for Blagojevich with the union sponsored group “Change to Win” was Harris’s idea.  It is the defense contention that Blagojevich was asking for and getting political and legal […]

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End of the Week

The Blagojevich trial has wrapped for the week with John Harris still on the stand.  Prosecutors told the judge they should finish with Harris on Monday.  That means Harris will have been on the stand even longer than Lon Monk.  Both former chiefs of staff have portrayed an insecure Governor Blagojevich consumed by his political and […]

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The Jail House Greenhouse

When a judge slapped Adolf Jerger with a 6-month sentence for contempt of court he never imagined his time in jail would include growing produce for upscale Chicago restaurants. For more than 27-years Jerger worked as a mechanic.  Now behind bars in Chicago’s Cook County Jail, he is four months into earning his Master Gardener […]

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Blago’s Quest Continues

This morning, the jury heard more secretly recorded conversations between Blagojevich and his former Chief of Staff John Harris. In a series of calls that began just before Election Day 2008, Blagojevich continued to talk to Harris and other advisers about what he could get for himself in return for an appointment to Barack Obama’s […]

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New Motion for Continuance

The defense has filed a second motion asking for a continuance to give them a chance to review the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Honest Services Law.  Sam Adam Sr. told me before the trial that Zagel had promised he would give the defense time to consider the Honest Services ruling when it was issued. […]

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Honest Services Ruling

The Supreme Court has limited the use of the Honest Services Fraud Statute in the Jeffrey Skilling case. Blagojevich’s lawyer Aaron Goldstein immediately asked for a continuance in the Blagojevich case until the defense had a chance to review the ruling. But Judge Zagel turned the defense down, saying he had the ruling in his […]

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Mistrial Motion Tossed

Judge James Zagel tossed out the motion for a mistrial filed by the defense, just hours after it was filed.  Generally speaking, Zagel said, a motion for a mistrial is not a good idea, although he said if there are misunderstandings, it is important that those misunderstandings be resolved.  The judge then once again instructed […]

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Defense Asks for Mistrial

The defense has filed a motion seeking a mistrial based on being “systematically prevented from engaging in meaningful cross-examination by unwarranted sustaining of objections.”  They highlight specific instances from yesterday when the government raised objections to nearly all defense attorney Sam Adam Sr.’s questions during cross-examination. [gview file=”http://blogs.wttw.com/moreonthestory/files/2010/06/https___ecf.ilnd_.uscourts.gov_cgi-bin_show_temp.pl_file7505988-0-30393.pdf”]

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Appointment for Nothing?

“Do they think I would appoint Valerie Jarrett for nothing just to make him happy?”  That was Rod Blagojevich’s question to his Chief of Staff John Harris in a secretly recorded phone call the day before Barack Obama’s election as president, just one of many conversations between Harris and Blagojevich over what Blagojevich could get […]

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