Longtime Blagojevich pal Lon Monk endures a sometimes tough, sometimes comical cross examination this morning, where he's getting hammered for betraying his onetime close friend and for taking cash bribes from Tony Rezko.
At first, attorney Shelly Sorosky tries weaving in some of Blagojevich's political and personal history through his questions, probing Monk about how the two first met in law school in California, how Monk was part of Blagojevich's wedding party.
"Is it fair to say you were the rich kid from southern California and he was the poor kid from the Northwest Side?" Sorosky asked. Sustained.
"Your mother wasn't a CTA ticket agent was she?"
Sorosky manages to get in that Mayor Daley endorsed Blagojevich in his early political years and Blagojevich won his political success without too much help of Monk.
"He was a congressman and you're still trying to hustle contracts ... right?"
Then he turned to talk of Rezko, with Sorosky trying to tie the timing of Rezko's legal woes to Monk beginning to take money from Rezko, implying that it was somehow hush money as a federal investigation ramped up against the North Shore businessman.
Monk, while Blagojevich's chief of staff, has testified he took $70,000 to $90,000 in secret cash from Rezko.
"You start receiving this cash from Mr. Rezko at the same time these controversies began?" Sorosky asked.
Monk: "They started a little bit after that."
Monk said he spent some of the cash to buy groceries.
"Did you not eat before you got this money?"
Monk said he went in to talk to FBI agents back in 2005 where he didn't tell them about taking cash from Rezko.
"You lied to the FBI right?" Sorosky asked.
Pause. "Yes," Monk replies.
He later was campaign manager for Blagojevich, pulling in $20,000 a month, he said.
Monk admitted he kept the cash secret from even Blagojevich.
"He wouldn't have approved of the method in which I was getting the money," Monk said.