Reporting with Natasha Korecki, Dave McKinney and Abdon Pallasch
Sam Adam Jr. tried to dismiss the charge that Rod Blagojevich told underlings to lean on then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel to have his brother, big-time Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, hold a fund-raiser for his campaign.
That could not be true, Adam argued, because then-Deputy Gov. Bradley Tusk testified that he continued to report to Blagojevich every day for two months after he supposedly defied Blagojevich's alleged command to try to shake down Emanuel.
"What governor gets caught in a shakedown by Bradley Tusk, who works for him, and continues to work for him for two months?" Adam shouted. "And he didn't fire Bradley Tusk? Give me a break!"
The government says Blagojevich held up a $2 million grant to build a football field at Chicago Academy, a school In Emanuel's congressional district, and told Tusk to tell Emanuel to get his brother to hold a fund-raiser.
Emanuel apparently never got the message and Blagojevich gradually and belatedly let go of the grant after contractors threatened to walk off the project, prosecutors said.
"Chicago Academy is an example of what they did RIGHT!" Adam said. "Rahm Emanuel says they should get a grant -- which they GOT! They wanted a football field. It got made."
"The darn football field -- that got made! What fund-raiser did he get? None!!!" he screamed.
Adam also mocked testimony that Rod Blagojevich hid in the bathroom from budget director John Filan.
"In the bathroom?!" Adam yells. He says Rod was the governor, he could just tell his secretary not to let people into his office.
Again, Adam questions the entirety of the case -- including the alleged shakedown of Rahm Emanuel that Bradley Tusk testified about.
"C'mon. These are the feds!" Adam says, pointing to the prosecution table. "And this is what they bring you? Come on."