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

Defense: Isn't union threat to cut off Blagojevich extortion?

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Reporting with Sarah Ostman

Rod Blagojevich defense lawyer Shelly Sorosky seizes on union leader Tom Balanoff's testimony to prosecutors that he planned to say the union wouldn't support Blagojevich with fund-raising if the then-governor didn't appoint Valerie Jarrett.

"I wouldn't support him at all," Balanoff clarified.

"Could that be someone's understanding that you were extorting him," for an appointment? Sorosky asked. Balanoff was cut off from answering.

Sorosky again asks Balanoff if Blagojevich explicitly offered an appointment for something in return.

"I think he comes pretty close," Balanoff testified. "Did he explicitly say it? No."

Sorosky then asks Balanoff whether he ever flagged any issues with Blagojevich's requests for a cabinet position or a 501 (c) 4 foundation.

"You never tell the governor he's doing anything wrong?" Sorosky asks.
Balanoff: "That's correct."
Sorosky: "You tell him you're going to accommodate him?" "No."
Sorosky: "You don't tell him: 'Hey you're stepping out of bounds, you're going too far, or I think that's improper,' do you?"
Balanoff: :"No, I do not."

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1 Comment

Now that Balanoff has spoken directly to Obama, isn't the defense NOW eligable to get the minutes to the now famous 2 hour Fitz/Obama meeting??? Any lawyers out there that wouldn't mind answering.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 29, 2010 3:23 PM.

Balanoff on Obama/Jarrett: "I would not call them marching orders." was the previous entry in this blog.

Balanoff: I wouldn't have endorsed Blagojevich if I knew then what I know now is the next entry in this blog.

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