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

Robert Blagojevich: Raghu Nayak, other Indian fund-raisers were "awkward and clumsy and naive in our political system"

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney

Robert Blagojevich testifies that he didn't take a $6 million offer from Raghu Nayak seriously, saying that he and others in a group of Indian fund-raisers advocating for Jesse Jackson Jr. for the Senate were "awkward and clumsy and naive."

Prosecutor Chris Niewoehner reminds Robert Blagojevich that he previously described Nayak -- who in fall 2008 told the governor's brother he would fund-raise $6 million if Blago would appoint Jackson to the Senate -- as an "amusing gentleman."

The prosecutor suggests this may not be an apt description for a man offering up bribes of $6 million.

"I just felt he was out of his element in what he was talking about and I didn't hold it against him," Robert Blagojevich said.

"Having grown up in an ethnic family" -- the Blagojeviches' father was a Serbian immigrant -- "I can see how they're very clumsy. That's just how I viewed the Indians -- very awkward and clumsy and naïve in our political system. And I put Nayak at the top of the chart."

Niewoehner asks if Nayak was "naive" to believe that $6 million could sway the governor.

"He was naïve to think he could approach a guy like me and get it done," was Robert's answer.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 20, 2010 2:13 PM.

Robert Blagojevich: I had "no problem" passing my brother's message on to Raghu Nayak was the previous entry in this blog.

Robert Blagojevich: Blago campaign worker had state troopers sweep office for bugs the day before his arrest is the next entry in this blog.

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