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

Defense: Top aides never told Blagojevich it was illegal to ask Obama for appointment

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Reporting with Sarah Ostman

After spending part of the day building up former chief of staff John Harris as an intelligent, highly-educated aide, defense lawyer Sam Adam Sr. puts in the dagger:

"You never told him, did you, it'd be illegal to ask Obama to appoint him," Adam asks Harris, referring to Rod Blagojevich wanting a cabinet position from President-Elect Obama in exchange for appointing Obama friend Valerie Jarrett to the Senate seat.
Blagojevich sought the Health and Human Services cabinet appointment.

"Did you suggest to the Gov. that he or someone like himself, contact David Axelrod as somebody either you or the governor could contact to get in touch with Obama about the idea for HHS?" Adam asked. "That was you?"

Harris: "Yes."

Adam is trying to show that no one thought there was anything wrong with this kind of maneuvering, that's why even his bright gubernatorial staff was in on the suggestions.

Harris revealed that when Blagojevich then met for a second time with Tom Balanoff, an emissary for Jarrett, Balanoff wanted to talk to Blagojevich alone.

After that, Harris said he was given the impression that Balanoff supported the idea of Obama giving Blagojevich the Health and Human Services seat and that he would relay that to the Obama camp.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 28, 2010 4:11 PM.

Defense: Blagojevich talked Senate seat with lawyer, top aide present was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich lawyer: Former governor wanted Lisa Madigan in exchange for legislative package is the next entry in this blog.

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