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

Prosecution opening statements begin

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"On the North Side of Chicago is a hospital named Children's Memorial Hospital."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton has kicked off the prosecution's opening statements with those words.

"In 2008, Children's Memorial was trying to get a grant to treat sick kids," she continued in a slow, clear voice. But before Blagojevich would allow that grant, she said, he demanded something in return."

"But there was a catch," Hamilton said. "Now that he had decided to help the hospital, he wanted to make sure the hospital was going to help him."

"Blagojevich decided if the hospital president wasn't going to help him, he wasn't going to help the hospital."

"This was just one in series of illegal shakedowns that started shortly after Gov. Rod Blagojevich became governor of Illinois in 2000 and continued until he was arrested in 2008."

Blagojevich is not looking at her as she speaks -- he is busy writing in his yellow notebook.

There were a number of friends and trusted aids" who helped Blago, Hamilton told the jury. "You will hear from a number of those people in this trial."

Hamilton is now showing jurors a chart on a giant screen: "Personal demands in exchange for state actions," it it titled.

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki Blagojevich stood up and watched solemnly while his jury filed in, with three men next to each other in the jury box and 15 women filing in after them. After they were seated, Blagojevich sat down,... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on June 8, 2010 1:17 PM.

Opening statements bring out a crowd was the previous entry in this blog.

"Inner circle" took advantage of many, prosecutor says is the next entry in this blog.

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