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."