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

Robert Blagojevich: Never took part in fund-raising talks with John Johnston, Gerry Krozel, Blair Hull

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Friends of Blagojevich was not faring well when Robert Blagojevich came to Chicago to help with the governor's fund-raising in summer 2008, Robert testifies. Of a $2.5 million goal, the campaign had only reached the $700,000 mark.

The campaign got turned down often for contributions. "We got more 'no's than 'yes'es," Robert said.

Robert's attorney, Michael Ettinger, asks Robert if he was ever present for a political meeting at the Thompson Center or the governor's mansion in Springfield between Aug. 1, 2008 -- when he came to work for FOB -- and Dec. 9, 2008 -- the day of the arrests.

"No," Robert says. "I think (Rod) made it a deliberate point to keep it separate from that."

Ettinger asks if anyone ever asked Robert for his advice about politics.
"Nnnno," Robert said, smiling.
Ettinger: "As of Aug. 1, 2008, did you know very much about Illinois politics?"
Robert: "No."
Ettinger: "Did you ever think of running for office anywhere?"
Robert: "No," he said, snapping his head forward.

Ettinger ticks down the list of people who the ex-governor allegedly shook down for cash.

Ettinger: "Did you ever have a conversation about fund-raising with (racetrack owner) John Johnston?"
Robert: "No."
Ettinger: "(Road-building executive) Gerry Krozel?"
Robert: "No."
Ettinger: "(Chicago businessman) Blair Hull?"
Robert: "No."

Ettinger asks who typically would have these conversations, if not Robert. That was Lon Monk, Robert says, adding that he would just call Monk to check in.

"You're basically a score-keeper," Ettinger said.
"I'm a score-keeper, yes," Robert said.

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It seems like the governments case will be hurt because they chose to charge Rob. He comes off as a very reliable witness, and he has a respectable background that backs that up. The charges against him seem to play into what rods lawyers are trying to say(rod doesn't and shouldn't get the same empathy Rob gets) that the government is out law abiding and respectable citizens. They would have been better off with either a separate trial or not charging him at all.

So Rob Blagojevich never attended meetings at either the Governor's office in the Thompson Center or at the Executive Mansion in Springfield. This makes sense since Rod Blagojevich was never at either location either.

Why don't they just say what it is? Robert was a tool for the prosecution to negotiate a guilty plea from Milorad...

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 19, 2010 11:33 AM.

Robert Blagojevich: I was told never to link fund-raising and government action "and I never did" was the previous entry in this blog.

Robert Blagojevich: I attended meeting with road-building exec, but didn't talk about fund-raising is the next entry in this blog.

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