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

Blagojevich trial: Rahm Emanuel comes up for the first time

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Rahm Emanuel's name surfaced for the first time in Rod Blagojevich's trial today as witness Lon Monk described an alleged attempt to shake him down for fund-raising money.

That happened earlier, but quickly was lost once Monk said Blagojevich allegedly agreed to pocket money in backroom deals.

Jurors in Blagojevich's case saw a giant photo of Emanuel published on the screen.

Monk, Blagojevich's former chief of staff, said Emanuel, then a congressman, asked Blagojevich for some kind of funding or grant from the state to help out the Chicago Academy.

"He said he‚d try to get it done," Monk said of Blagojevich and the $2 million grant for Chicago Academy, a school that trained teachers that was in Emanuel's district at the time.

But Emanuel didn't get his money initially and he repeatedly called Blagojevich's staffers demanding to know why.

Blagojevich told Monk to hold off on the grant unless Emanuel's brother, big L.A. talent agent Ari Emanuel, held him a fund-raiser.

"He wanted to either see if a fund-raiser was going to take place or see how successful it was going to be organized by Ari Emanuel in Los Angeles," Monk said.

Monk said Blagojevich told him to relay a message to Emanuel that Blagojevich wanted the fund-raiser.

Monk said he ignored the former governor.

"I intentionally did nothing," he said.

Monk eventually stopped taking Emanuel's angry calls, referring him to Bradley Tusk, a deputy governor.

The defense has subpoenaed Emanuel, the Sun-Times first reported last week.

They want him to discuss the grant money as well as Emanuel's role in discussions about candidates for the U.S. Senate seat.

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this is the best coverage available on the trial keep up the good work!!

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 9, 2010 3:56 PM.

Blagojevich trial: The Beverly Wilshire meeting was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich trial: Rezko, Kelly eyed presidency, Monk said is the next entry in this blog.

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