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

Blagojevich trial: Prosecutors work up to key phone call in Robert Blagojevich cross-examination

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney

Robert Blagojevich and prosecutor Chris Niewoehner are entrenched in a long back-and-forth over Robert's phone records on Dec. 4, 2008, the day of a key phone call between Rod and Robert about the Senate seat appointment.

Niewoehner is going over a list of attempted phone calls in harrowing detail. He puts up a chart that Robert's lawyer originally published that details all the calls made that day.

It's a long list. Robert tried to reach his brother over and over again, to no avail, sometimes more than once per minute. When that didn't work, he repeatedly tried to reach the governor's scheduler.

Robert gets irritated at the questioning. "I concede," he says repeatedly, as the prosecutor tries to get him to acknowledge each call one by one. "Let's not waste time."

Robert's lawyers originally showed jurors the list to show that Robert was annoyed -- and not thinking straight -- at a Starbucks, when Rod finally reached him and told him to elevate Jesse Jackson Jr.

But prosecutors are trying to show that Robert was, in fact, actively trying to get a hold of the ex-governor that day -- suggesting maybe he wasn't as distracted as he said when the two had that critical conversation about Jackson.

"If you're trying to make the point that I was dying to talk to my brother, that's not the case," Robert tells the prosecutor at one point.

As he introduced the exhibits showing the calls, Niewoehner read aloud Robert's phone number.

"Thank you for telling everyone my phone number," Robert snapped, looking down. That got a hearty laugh from the courtroom.

Judge James Zagel has called a lunch break. Court will resume at 1:30.

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3 Comments

The US Attorney's office and the fbi aren't even a little bit curious as to who tipped off John Chase and Rahm Emanuel??? BECAUSE they already know it was John Wyma.

Natasha, I would be very interested to hear what the jury does when Robert is finally dismissed. Do they make eye contact? Do they smile? Do they look away or frown? Or are they all poker faced? this will tell tons as to how they are feeling about Robert.

Also, you mention the courtroom laughed many times but did the jury? Do you think Robert is comming across as likeable to them?

Looks like Zagel isn't worried about wasting time when it is comes to the prosecution. Surprise. Trying to show repeated phone calls to prove you wouldn't be annoyed when the return phone call finally comes, and when you are now "off-duty" and enjoying down time with your wife -- is stupid, AND wasting time.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 20, 2010 12:40 PM.

Robert Blagojevich: $6M Jackson emissary Raghu Nayak is a "likable exaggerator" was the previous entry in this blog.

Robert Blagojevich: I had "no problem" passing my brother's message on to Raghu Nayak is the next entry in this blog.

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