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

Blagojevich friend asks FBI cooperator to deliver message to Obama camp "that is ridiculous even by our standards."

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Onetime Rod Blagojevich campaign communications chief Doug Scofield just testified that he relayed a message to John Wyma about the U.S. Senate seat.

Scofield said he told Wyma that Blagojevich was making a request of the Obama camp that was "ridiculous even by our standards."

Scofield and Blagojevich didn't know it, but Wyma had been working with FBI agents at that point, who were in charge of the ongoing probe into Blagojevich.

Wyma's cooperation served as the probable cause basis for the feds to set up a series of wiretaps.

And so, on Nov. 13, 2008, this is the person Blagojevich wants to deliver a message to Rahm Emanuel, who had just been named President-Elect Obama's chief of staff.

Scofield said he called Wyma to deliver the message that Blagojevich wanted a foundation set up for him in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the Senate seat.

"I said John, every now and then we get asked to do something that is ridiculous even by our standards," Scofield testified. "But I've been asked to pass this along, so I'm passing this along."

Blagojevich's defense lawyers objected twice to the "ridiculous" remark.
"If the goal of your objection was to stop his answer, you've succeeded," Judge James Zagel said.

Scofield went on about the conversation: "I said, Rod is really around the bend on this Senate stuff, so here's what he said to me and I'll pass it on to you," Scofield testified.

Prosecutor Reid Schar asked: "Did Mr. Wyma express any concerns about the message?"

"He seemed slightly confused about it," Scofield said. "He wanted to clarify that it was related to the Senate seat ... which I had said within the first five seconds of picking up the phone."

"We (Scofield and Wyma) talked about this idea of funders (for the foundation Blagojevich wanted), which we both found a little implausible," Scofield testified.

Scofield then said he was under the impression that Wyma would not pass it along to Emanuel. He didn't hear from Wyma again.

When Scofield talked to Blagojevich again though, he said he lied and said Wyma would do it -- because that was an easier message to convey to the ex-governor.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 30, 2010 2:22 PM.

Blagojevich unwittingly asks that FBI cooperator make an offer to Obama camp was the previous entry in this blog.

Defense: Scofield talked with Blagojevich of getting something in return for Jarrett is the next entry in this blog.

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