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

Robert Blagojevich: Thought idea of "accelerated fund-raising" to appoint Jesse Jackson Jr. was "outrageous"

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Over the break, Rod Blagojevich chats with his nephew, Alex. The two smile at times and the ex-governor even puts his arm around his nephew at one point.

It's a rare display of emotion between the two families. The brothers, Rod and Robert, don't lunch together and have not been seen talking to one another in court this entire trial.

Back on the stand, Robert Blagojevich recounts an Oct. 28, 2008, meeting with Indian community leader Rajinder Bedi in which there was discussion of "accelerated fund-raising" if Rod would appoint Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to Barack Obama's Senate seat.

Robert met Bedi at a Ravenswood Starbucks to prepare for a Friends of Blagojevich campaign steering committee meeting, he testifies.

While there, Robert said, Bedi told him another Indian community leader, Raghu Nayak, would line up $1 million in fund-raising if Blago would appoint Jesse Jr.

Robert said he was "surprised" by the comment.

"I told him it was strongly unlikely, that Rod would never appoint him because he didn't trust him," Robert said. Then he steered the conversation back toward the steering committee, he said.

After the meeting, he testified, he told Rod what Bedi had said.

"He just totally dismissed it," Robert said. "We thought it was just a joke. It was outrageous."

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 19, 2010 2:45 PM.

Robert Blagojevich: Sorry for the swearing -- and for the coughing fit was the previous entry in this blog.

Robert Blagojevich: We were offered $6M -- not $1.5M -- to appoint Jesse Jackson Jr. is the next entry in this blog.

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