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

Defense accuses key cooperator of bribe-taking. Feds call it "outrageous."

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Reporting with Sarah Ostman

Just 15 minutes into the defense's cross examination of John Wyma, Judge James Zagel dismisses jurors to see where defense lawyer Sheldon Sorosky is headed with questioning.

Outside of the jury's presence, Sorosky says he believes Wyma was instructed by Tony Rezko to bribe a member of the Hospital Facilities Planning Board if Wyma wanted his client, Provena Hospital to have any success before the board.

"This was a crime in fact this man committed," Sorosky told Zagel.

Sorosky said he was served with a subpoena by the government in the fall of 2008 -- the same time that Rezko and another board member, Stuart Levine, were cooperating with the government.

"That is his motivation for cooperating with the government," Sorosky said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton said the accusation doesn't hold water.
"I think this is an outrageous allegation," she told Zagel.

Earlier in testimony, Wyma said he pulled in $1 million a year as an Illinois lobbyist.

"Other than being a friend of Gov. Blagojevich, will you tell me why these people paid you $1 million," Sorosky asked.

The government's objection was sustained.

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I know that was long, but the double standard really bothers me.(excepting witness who change there story-either under oath or from what they said to federal agent-also a crime) I mean think about it, you think if somebody changed their testimony to be in support of Blago they would be tried for perjury?? You think the judge would allow them to be witness in the case? Does that create an atmosphere where a fair trial can be possible?

I think Europe has it right when they say that plea deals are unreliable and entice people to tell the story the government wants. I mean lets be serious thousands of people if not more have confessed to crimes they didn't commit. All of those people are making us re-evaluate the way interrogations are run, but maybe we should be re-examining the entire system plea deals and all. The threat of a federal indictment can be intimidating, especially to someone who does have millions of dollars to fight it, If you don't want to grow back and ruin yours and the rest of your families life you take the deal and say what ever they want you to because you can be sure if you don't they'll say your not cooperating and the deal will be take off the table.(how many more men did the government have working on the case then rod?) Its the same ball park as false confessions, you want the government harassment to stop so you play ball, even if that means perjury.(why would they charge you for doing what they want-its all about winning think Senator Stevens) Hopefully most attorneys in the us attorneys office are going to condone perjury, but I can tell you if the person is say what they want to hear there not going to be proactively ensuring there not lying, or they'll just disregard previous statements.(not hide but assume your telling the truth the time you say what they want to hear)

Ask him if he tipped off Emanuel and John Chase...

October 2008—Wyma begins cooperating with feds.

Nov. 3—Rahm Emanuel tells Blagojevich Chief of Staff John Harris that Obama’s preference for his soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat is Valerie Jarrett.

Nov. 4—SEIU Midwest President Tom Balanoff returns Barack Obama’s call and vows to deliver message to Blagojevich about Obama’s preference for Jarrett.

Nov. 5—Obama elected president.

Nov. 6-8—According to WH report, Emanuel has “one or two” conversations with Blagojevich expressing his preference that Blago pick Jarrett.

Nov. 7—Balanoff meets with Blagojevich and delivers the message that Obama wants Jarrett.

Nov. 7—Balanoff discusses Senate seat with Jarrett, who still is interested.

Nov. 9—WH report says Jarrett withdraws her name from consideration for WH seat.

Nov. 10—Wyma, acting as an emissary for Emanuel and Obama, tells Harris that all that Blagojevich can expect from a Jarrett selection is “thanks and gratitude.”

Of course, Zagel sustained it, that's been par for the course -- but why? what was the evidence rule? It's a no brainer that Wyma turned state's evidence to save his hide. That whole facility board thing operated through the lobbyists -- I guess impeaching a witness is no longer allowed in federal court?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on July 13, 2010 2:31 PM.

Witness: Rahm Emanuel asked me to call Blagojevich to say President Elect Barack Obama wanted Valerie Jarrett was the previous entry in this blog.

Prosecution calls its last witness in Blagojevich case -- hospital CEO is the next entry in this blog.

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