Reporting with Natasha Korecki
Robert Blagojevich was distracted, annoyed, and just trying to enjoy a cup of coffee in a noisy Starbucks with his wife, who was recuperating from foot surgery, when federal investigators caught him on tape discussing the Senate seat appointment with his brother, Robert has testified.
The Dec. 4, 2008 tape -- in which Rod asks Robert to set up a meeting with fund-raiser Raghu Nayak about a potentially lucrative Jesse Jackson Jr. appointment -- is key to the government's case against Robert, who is charged with this scheme in the indictment.
But Robert testifies he was only half-paying attention and thoroughly annoyed since the two had talked numerous times that day and had also attended a fund-raiser.
"I was put out," Robert Blagojevich says of his brother's phone call. In the courtroom, Robert smiles. Rod is looking over at his brother, smiling too.
"I thought he was being rude. He knew I was with Julie," Robert says.
Attorney Michael Ettinger tries to point out that Robert sounded distracted on the tape.
"I'm meeting with him Monday," Rod says of Jesse Jackson Jr.
Rod is heard saying he has invited Jackson to an upcoming poverty conference.
Rod: "I'm trying to get a story run in the Sun-Times about how close we are."
Robert: "Nice, nice, nice."
Ettinger asks why Robert keeps saying "nice."
"I was trying to be polite and move the conversation along," Robert says.