Reporting with Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney
Attorneys for Rod Blagojevich are now arguing about the relevance of real estate fees that Patti Blagojevich accepted from convicted businessman Tony Rezko.
Prosecutors showed that Patti banked $12,000 a month from the Rezmar development company, and also accepted tens of thousands in other checks and home improvements.
The defense is now trying to get the Patti accusations knocked from the indictment, saying there was plenty of evidence that she did legitimate work for Tony Rezko and earned those commissions.
"The government has not come close to proving that those real estate fees were anything close to a bribe," defense attorney Shelly Sorosky said.
Judge Zagel cut in and offered a historical comparison.
"Do you by any chance know who the Everleigh sisters were?" They were madames in a high-class Chicago brothel around the turn of the 20th century.
The Everleigh sisters gave cash to various police officials in order to protect themselves and their business, Zagel explains.
"I think that that would constitute bribery, even though you might not be able to point to a single specific action or inaction taken by those police officers," Zagel explains. "It might be bribery over a dozen years. Here, hypothetically, six years. ... It's still a bribe, even though it's very difficult to point to what the quo was for the quid."
"I think you're construing it too narrowly," the judge tells the defense.
Zagel has adjourned court for the day, asking attorneys to return for a brief session tomorrow morning at 9:30.