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

Blagojevich trial: Government cross-examines Robert Blagojevich

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Prosecutor Chris Niewoehner opens his cross-examination of Robert Blagojegich by asking the veteran whether he thought it would be fair if, while in the military, he quashed an investigation in exchange for getting a job.

The question clearly throws Robert Blagojevich, who asks the prosecutor to repeat it several times.

Niewoehner then turns to a Nov. 5, 2008 transcript.

"If you can get Obama to get (U.S. Attorney Patrick) Fitzgerald to close the case on you, it provides you total clarity," Robert says on that tape. He is heard urging his brother to "horse-trade" with Barack Obama to get the feds to stop investigating him.

Niewoehner: "That's what you wanted to have happen?"
Robert: "As a brother, of course I did."
Niewoehner asks if he wanted that in exchange for Rod appointing Valerie Jarrett to the Senate. Robert forcefully says no.
Niewoehner: "Barack Obama was just going to do that for nothing?"

The prosecutor then runs down a list of not-so-hypothetical hypothetical situations.

Niewoehner: "You know it'd be wrong for your brother to ask for cash for his family in exchange for some political action?"
Robert: "Yes."
Niewoehner: "You know it'd be wrong for your brother to take some governmental action in exchange for somebody else taking millions of dollars and putting it into some organization your brother controls?"
Robert: "If he directly agreed to that? Yes, that would be improper."
Niewoehner: "Whether it's a campaign contribution or cash, that doesn't matter, does it?"
Robert: "Not in my mind."

Niewoehner asks if Robert would think it was wrong if someone walked into a room with Rod Blagojevich, dropped a bag of $100,000 in cash and asked to be named senator.

"He'd tell the guy to pick up the money and walk out with it," Robert Blagojevich testifies.

Sitting at his defense table, Rod Blagojevich looked touched, gently smiling and nodding his head.

Judge James Zagel has adjourned court for the day. Cross-examination will resume at 9:30 tomorrow -- with Rod Blagojevich expected to take the stand later in the day.

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2 Comments

"Niewoehner asks if Robert would think it was wrong if someone walked into a room with Rod Blagojevich, dropped a bag of $100,000 in cash and asked to be named senator"

OR

asked to use the use of a military base in Savanna Illinois to train Iraqi militants. That's what Frawley paid and the feds are covering it up.

I consider the prosecution's questions allowable and proper cross examination, but the judge and prosecution sure as heck stopped this kind of speculative/hypothetical questioning when the defense did it on cross, as I recall.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 19, 2010 4:15 PM.

Robert Blagojevich: I was distracted, annoyed while discussing Senate seat on key government tape was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich trial: Prosecutors come at Robert Blagojevich with a curve ball is the next entry in this blog.

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