Reporting with Natasha Korecki
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was surrounded by highly skilled and intelligent advisers, defense attorney Sam Adam is demonstrating in his cross-examination of John Harris.
Adam started by trying to show that Harris is an intelligent man, former military man, knows law and speaks some Russian. And he's one of the top advisers to Rod Blagojevich.
Now, he's going through other aides to Blagojevich who came up in the prosecution's questioning, including pollster Fred Yang, former Deputy Gov. Bob Greenlee, adviser John Wyma.
Adam is running through a list of qualifications for each of these people:
"Did you know that Sen. Dick Durbin was one of (Fred Yang's) clients?"
"Did you know (Bob Greenlee) went to Yale Law School?"
"Did you know that Bill Quinlan was ranked by Super Lawyers magazine as one of the rising stars of Illinois?"
Adam then asked if Harris knew that Quinlan was ranked one of the "Top 40 under 40" lawyers. That's when Judge Zagel cut him off.
"I'd shy away from lawyers rating other lawyers. They're notoriously unreliable," Zagel says to much courtroom laughter.
As the questions wore on, they spark a flurry of objections from the prosecution table -- and the judge sustains -- so Harris rarely answers.
But the gist seems to be that the former governor surrounded himself with good people -- and they're the ones who were advising Blagojevich at the time that the feds say he was committing crimes.
Judge Zagel has called a lunch break. We'll begin again at 1:20 p.m.