Reporting with Sarah Ostman
As the testimony of Robert Greenlee wrapped up, the defense suffered another tough rebuke from the judge and the prosecution elicited more harsh words for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
In a rapid-fire redirect examination, prosecutor Reid Schar asked Greenlee whether he often took action on issues -- including researching state funding for a Children's Hospital -- before he got a nod from Blagojevich.
"If I had waited for approval from Gov. Blagojevich before I did anything with my job, the state would have ground to a halt," Greenlee said.
Blagojevich is leaning forward in his chair, staring right at Greenlee.
Schar's questions were in response to earlier questioning by defense lawyer Aaron Goldstein. Goldstein suggested that Greenlee was acting on his own when he promised funding to pediatrics -- Children's Memorial Hospital -- and that he acted on his own when he called off the funding.
Goldstein also suggested that Blagojevich had budgetary concerns when he called Greenlee in November 2008 and asked him if the funding could be held up for budgetary concerns.
"Mr. Greenlee, do you recall defendant Blagojevich coming to you ever ... with a single budgetary issue saying the state could not afford $4 million to $8 million?
"No, I don't recollect anything like that," Greenlee said.
Schar then pointed out that after Blagojevich asked about holding up funds to the Children's Hospital, he asked Greenlee to research a legislative package he could put together in exchange for appointing Lisa Madigan to the Senate seat. Blagojevich wanted an expanded health care, among other initiatives in exchange.
"At that time, when you put that list together, would it have cost billions of dollars to do the things defendant Blagojevich wanted you to do?" Schar asked.
"Billions, yes," Greenlee responded.
"Billions of dollars. In health care initiatives," Schar repeated.
Greenlee said in that case, Blagojevich never mentioned budgetary concerns.
Blagojevich is accused of holding up state money that would benefit Children's Memorial Hospital because the hospital CEO hadn't coughed up a campaign contribution.
On cross examination, Goldstein asked Greenlee a series of questions about whether he thought what he was doing with Blagojevich was illegal.
"You know it's a crime to commit bribery," Goldstein asked.
Judge James Zagel blocked the answer. Witnesses are not typically allowed to make legal conclusions unless they're deemed as experts.
"You can ask one more and then you can sit down," Zagel told him sternly.
"Can I ask one more then ask about a slightly different subject?" Goldstein tried.
"No, you can ask about a slightly different subject now," Zagel said.
It concluded with Greenlee, 35, admitting he was not charged with any crime.