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

Blagojevich judge: 'I really don't want another speech'

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

As court starts back up after lunch, U.S. District Judge James Zagel scolded Rod Blagojevich's defense lawyer, Aaron Goldstein, for continuing to ask questions inviting long-winded answers.

Zagel said it was fine for Goldstein to ask those questions earlier in Blagojevich's testimony, when the questions focused on Blagojevich's history. Now, as the defense moves to address allegations Blagojevich shook down the CEO of Children's Memorial Hospital, Zagel's again asking Goldstein to narrow his questions.

Goldstein asks his client when he first heard of Children's Memorial.

"On October 14, 1967," he says, earning a quick response from Zagel.

"Don't want to go that far back," the judge says.

Blagojevich tries to get in that his cousin died at Children's Memorial, earning another objection from the prosecution.

"Your honor, it's relevant," Goldstein protests as he tries to ask Blagojevich what the hospital means to him. "It's relevant to what their exact allegations are."

"What I'm concerned about has to do with the open invitation in your questions for a long, narrative answer," Zagel replies. "I really don't want another speech and it's not proper form."

Blagojevich finally gets to answer "yes" when Goldstein asks him if it's fair to say his life experiences shaped his healthcare policies, which were very important to him.

Outside the courtroom before the end of the lunch break, Blagojevich held court in the hallway, chatting it up with reporters and reflecting on his Northwestern days and Elvis Presley.

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 31, 2011 2:08 PM.

Blagojevich says he didn't threaten anyone to give Patti a job was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich: I never shook down Children's Memorial Hospital CEO is the next entry in this blog.

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