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

Blagojevich defense regret? Not calling Jesse Jackson Jr. to the stand

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Reporting with Sarah Ostman

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An attorney for the brother of Rod Blagojevich said he regrets that jurors who are now in their 10th day of deliberations never heard testimony from U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill).

Michael Ettinger, attorney for Robert Blagojevich, gave an emphatic "yes" when asked if he regretted that Jackson didn't take the stand.

"I don't know if I can at this point go into it. But it would have shown, you know, you've got the Jesse Jr. alleged bribery extortion. You've seen one side of it that I believe the evidence shows really didn't occur. I believe the jury would have seen the other side of Jesse and the Indians if Jesse would have testified," Ettinger said.

"What was the other side?" reporters asked.

"That's what I can't get into," Ettinger said.

Jackson was subpoenaed by Rod Blagojevich's attorneys. Rod and Robert Blagojevich are accused of attempting to go through Indian fund-raiser Raghu Nayak to extract a campaign contribution from Jackson. Robert Blagojevich testified that Nayak in October of 2008 approached him offering $6 million in fund-raising for his brother if the then-governor named Jackson to the Senate seat.

Robert Blagojevich testified he shut down the offer. Months later though, Rod Blagojevich tells his brother in a recorded phone call he wants to "elevate" Jackson and asks his brother to meet with Nayak and to talk about "tangible" support up front. His brother sets up a meeting with Nayak but testifies he never intended on making any quid pro quo offer.

"We were counting on Jesse Jr. being called," Ettinger said. "Depending on what he said, I would have called Nayak."

Ettinger said the ex-governor's decision not to testify and to call no witnesses took him by surprise.

"There's another story to be told between Jesse Jr. and the Indians that I can't get into," Ettinger said. He could have called Jackson himself, he acknowledged.

"Because my client never met with him (Jackson) and Rod did. I didn't think that I should get into that," Ettinger said.

The decision to rest their case without calling a witness -- or Rod Blagojevich came as a surprise to the ex-governor's brother, Ettinger said. Rod Blagojevich, as well as his lawyers said it was a difficult call for them but in the end they believed it was the right thing to do in the case.

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10 Comments

Guilty on all charges.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjrtSTqhD3E Go and watch this. Laugh, it is Illinois politics.

No way there will be a presidential pardon...Blago told the Pres to "F" himself. I'd never pardon him if I were Barack.

New top 10 Illinois Political Future News Headlines:

1. Rod Blagojevich sentence to 20 years; Rods Hair Brush, and Big Mouth Patti given immunity for testimony.

2. Judge not impressed with Rod's Elvis impersonation adds 10 years for bad acting.

3. Patti marries King Rat Quinn and becomes New Old First Lady of Illinois.

4. New Old First lady of Illinois is pregnant.

5. Rod fines soul mate in Federal Prison Inmate: BBC123456+9

6. Breaking news: King Rat Quinn announces Rod Hair Brush is father of Patti
New Old First Lady baby.

7. Rods Hair Brush runs against King Rat Quinn in fall election.

8. Rod Hair Brush indicted on campaign fraud; professes innocents.

9. King Rat Quinn and First Old Lady Patti will move in governor’s mansion with new 3 month old newborn infant Comb Quinn.

10. Rod ‘s pardon denied; truly feels like blacker than Obama now; while Rods Hair Brush become governor of Illinois in historic vote turnout..

Thank you to the Chicago Tribune, and Law Enforcement for your empowerment, protection, and sacrifice.

the day of reckoning is cominnnn blaggoooooo
they are not hung they are systematically going through the counts and verdicts too late def attorney if they lose they will probably file a motion for an incompetent attorney I think they are setting this up by some of the things the defense has said since jury went out

No, the defense was right. It was up to Patrick Fitzgerald to see to it that the case was proven in court.

As to what's ahead, the ball is actually now in DC! Where the fears are mounting that with a "victory" here ... Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to force his way into heading up the FBI. Into Mueller's top spot. While most of the politians in DC want NO PART AT ALL of "goody two-shoes."

Let alone the kind of reward that Patrick Fitzgerald would get! While the chimp was Dubya, who couldn't see himself pardoning Libby. Why? Because Dubya only thinks in terms of others jumping on their swords.

How long does it take to have regrets? Well, what about irak and afghanistan? Dubya was a boob. We're still stuck. And, our economy went into the tank ... while the Feds printed money for Europeans. You think you saw a fair wall street shake up? HA. HA. HA. More often than not we're best off when we VOTE FOR THE CROOK. IT's IMPORTANT!

Stupid jurors? You want smart people to get caught in the jury summons net? Meanwhile, idiots on a Louisiana jury put their governor into the clink. He comes out in January 2011. Didn't prevent Katrina, either.

It sounds like the defense for Rob had difficulty with their defense because they were protecting the primary defendent Milorad...but the proseuction had to do a little tip toeing as well protecting their primary Obama.

I agree with Chris... If I was the defense I'd tried getting to the barganing table sooner than later. We'll see who throws wha brother under the bus.

Natasha, wish you were with the jurors so you can continue your blog from there.

They are all crooks.

Lock 'em up, throw away the keys and see 'em rot 'til kingdom come would suit us fine.

Sounds like they are dropping the hint that if they go down they will start taking people with them.

Presidential pardon is probably already written and waiting.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on August 10, 2010 11:30 AM.

Judge James Zagel: "We are all in exactly the same position. We are all waiting." was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich trial: Still no word as Day 10 comes to a close is the next entry in this blog.

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