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

Rod Blagojevich wanted Senate President's warchest: witness

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In one mid-November, 2008, Rod Blagojevich sent his top aide, John Harris, to approach then-Illinois Senate President Emil Jones with a deal:

Blagojevich would appoint Jones if he considered turning over his campaign warchest to the governor.

"I told Jones that Emil Jones was the governor's favorite candidate next to himself," Harris said he told Jones.

"I did discuss with Sen. Jones than no one other than Emil had been a friend of the governor," Harris said.

But that's where the talk stopped, Harris said. He never broached the topic of money with Jones, he said.

"I believe the impression I gave the governor was that I talked about Emil's warchest and big bucket of campaign money," in relation to the Senate seat, Harris said.

Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton asked why Harris didn't do as he was told
"If the governor wanted to ask for the money, he would do himself," Harris said he believed.

"I grew to like Emil Jones. We were close, a friend," Harris said. "I was not going to have that conversation with him."

Hamilton pressed Harris on why he didn't tell Blagojevich it was an inappropriate request.

Harris said from the stand: "I knew it would happen anyway, if I simply told him I wasn't going to do it, he would be disappointed. It would be a fight. I didn't want to get into it, I was working on the legislative session."

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 24, 2010 2:55 PM.

Qualifications for next U.S. Senator: solve Rod Blagojevich's legal, personal and political problems was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich aide lies to then-governor about editorial board firing demand is the next entry in this blog.

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