Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Blago smiles -- even as he's smothered

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The media circus was in full swing at the courthouse, with dozens of photographers and reporters swarming the governor and pushing and shoving each other.
I haven't seen it this bad since the international media converged here for media baron
Conrad Black. At that time, the media mass was so out of control, attorney Ed Genson, who was riding in his motorized scooter, was knocked clear over.
No one was knocked over this morning outside of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
But that just may have been a minor miracle.
There were more than 60 press people swarming all over Rod Blagojevich, who at first said he'd take no questions.
But, as he turned to leave, he started answering shouting reporters.
As he answered, more people moved in around him, barely allowing him to walk. At many points, the whole crowd seemed to move as one giant flock.
"Oh my God," one photographer exclaimed as he looked over the pile of bodies.
And he was one of the shooters who was standing above us all on a concrete barrier outside.
Another photographer swore and then apologized to the ex-governor. Blagojevich smiled and said it was nothing he hadn't heard before: "Listen to some of those tapes," he said. (The secret recordings of Blagojevich last year are ridden with expletives, according to snippets of transcripts released to the public.)


Outside, photographers and cameramen stood atop of concrete barriers to get an overhead view of the ex-governor. Inside, some set up small ladders to get a good shot. Back outside, reporters swore as they stepped on each other's feet.
Others huddled around, shoving their mics or tape recorders to the governor -- not even getting anywhere near him. "He's not going to leave until the last question is asked," one TV reporter commented on Blagojevich.
Onlookers in the public took out their cell phones to snap photos and videotape the mess.
Others inside the courthouse stood by the glass windows, sipping coffee and watching the spectacle.
In the midst of all this, Blagojevich stopped to add something else.
"Let me say one more thing. I want to say this to the people of Illinois. I have not let them down. I never stopped working hard for them or fighting for them," Blagojevich said.
Asked repeatedly about adding another lawyer to address a "massive" indictment, Blagojevich lawyer Sheldon Sorosky said: "We'll need five or six lawyers."
Then, asked what his strategy was moving forward, Rod Blagojevich said: "the truth."
Through it all, Rod Blagojevich continued to smile, seeming to bask in the attention even as he was getting smothered.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on April 14, 2009 2:28 PM.

Blago's brother wants a separate trial was the previous entry in this blog.

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