Reporting with Sarah Ostman
The judge calls for a recess just as Rajinder Bedi is about to finish the story about his Oct. 28, 2008 meeting with Jesse Jackson Jr.
Without the jury present, Prosecutor Christopher Niewoehner explains that Jackson, fund-raiser Raghu Nayak and Rajinder Bedi met at the 312 Restaurant in Chicago.
And that's when Nayak discusses raising $1 million for Blagojevich for Jackson's appointment.
Bedi had only gotten as far as to say he met with Jackson at the restaurant and Nayak showed up. Jackson started discussing Peotone Airport at length and the conversation changed.
The defense objected at this point and the judge called for a break.
Here's the explanation of what happened at the meeting by prosecutors:
Jackson shifts the conversation and says he's interested in becoming appointed senator, according to Niewoehner.
"The thing that's significant, Nayak says: 'I will raise $1 million for Blagojevich if he appoints you (Jackson) to the Senate seat," Niewoehner just told the judge with the jury out of the room. "That statement ... leads Bedi to mention that Nayak is interested in doing fund-raising for Blagojevich and he wants Jackson appointed."
Niewoehner said it's important to get in this meeting because it's critical to the prosecution's case.
"That's the heart of our case essentially, that they understand that's the offer on the table," Niewoehner says, referring to Rod and Robert Blagojevich and a recorded phone call.
Judge James Zagel is saying that he won't allow that part of the testimony in. Niewoehner can only ask Bedi about Jackson's interest in the Senate seat and that fund-raising was discussed.
But another interesting point: prosecutors say at one point, Nayak called Bedi
to tell him not to make an explicit quid pro quo offer because there may be a federal investigation underway.
Prosecutors showed jurors a giant photo of Jackson and Nayak.