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

"Inner circle" took advantage of many, prosecutor says

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton has put up a screen with a picture of Blagojevich with lines linking him to convicted fundraiser Tony Rezko, now deceased fundraiser Chris Kelly and former staffer Lon Monk.

Hamilton, dressed in a dark suit and wearing her blond hair in a ponytail, is describing the alleged shakedown conspiracies in very simple terms.

"It wasn't that (Blagojevich) would go out and do it himself," she says, "Instead the demand was made by a middleman for his benefit. The middlemen that were used were Lon Monk, Chris Kelly and Tony Rezko."

She is referring to that foursome as the "inner circle."

She is also introducing the jury to the Friends of Blagojevich campaign fund.

"Part of the plan was to try to build up that campaign fund," she said. "They knew the more money in that campaign fund, the more money Blagojevich could yield and the more they could personally benefit from decisions he was making."

Rod Blagojevich stops writing in his notebook and stares up at Hamilton, fiddling his pen between his fingers.

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Thanks for catching those - things can slip past you when you're working on the fly!

You have some typos. Chris Kelly was never a staffer, only Lon Monk was in that sentence. Also later where you say "Chris Harris", you probably either mean John Harris or Chris Kelly.

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