Reporting with Natasha Korecki
John Wyma, Rod Blagojevich's former Congressional chief of staff, fund-raiser and friend, is testifying with a promise of immunity about fund-raising at Friends of Blagojevich in the ex-governor's first term.
Blagojevich, sitting at the defense table, stared at Wyma as he passed him on his way to the witness stand. The ex-governor visibly sighed when hit the stand.
Wyma -- a tanned, blond-haired man wearing a gray suit and pink and blue striped tie -- says he was one of Blagojevich's "central raisers." Fund-raising meetings were attended by the governor, Lon Monk and Chris Kelly, among others.
That point -- that Blagojevich was in the room for fund-raising meetings -- echoes testimony of previous witnesses and suggests that Blago lied to the FBI when he told them he put up a "firewall" between politics and fund-raising.
Wyma is now testifying about his participation in two areas that we've heard about before -- the state's Teacher's Retirement System and a grant for a school in then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel's district.
Regarding TRS, Wyma testifies that Chris Kelly told him in 2004 that if Wyma's clients wanted to do business with TRS, they had to make a $50,000 campaign contribution to Blagojevich.
Wyma said he didn't pass that on to his client, though -- "because I thought it was wrong, obviously wrong."