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

Defense attorney: Targeting newspaper editorial board was Bob Greenlee's idea

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

It was onetime Deputy Gov. Bob Greenlee who first raised the idea of trying to get the Chicago Tribune's editorial board fired in response to negative editorials about the governor and in exchange for a deal that would help the Tribune Co. financially.

Defense attorney Aaron Goldstein questions Greenlee about a taped exchange from Nov. 3, 2008. Greenlee, Blago and Patti are talking about a Chicago Tribune editorial that called for the ex-governor's impeachment. It's also the infamous tape where Patti rants about the "f---ing Cubs."

Goldstein reads from a transcript of the tape where Greenlee suggests to Blago, "But I would tell him, 'Look, if you wanna get your Cubs thing done, get rid of this Tribune.'"

Goldstein: "Before you said that, no one was talking about getting rid of the Tribune. Correct?"
Greenlee: "Uh, no."
Goldstein: "Before this statement by you, there was a lot of anger being expressed about these editorial articles... but nothing about getting rid of the Tribune."

Greenlee acknowledges this is true.

"I don't think (there's) any threat of a real impeachment," Greenlee also tells Blago on the tape. "This would all be a political action."

Goldstein asks if that means that Greenlee didn't think Blago had done anything that actually warranted impeachment. The prosecution objects, and the judge sustains.

Goldstein: "Is it fair to say you were lying to him?"
Greenlee: "Insofar as I was telling him what he wanted to hear, yes."

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 12, 2010 11:39 AM.

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