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

Blagojevich on alleged pay-to-play: "If they don't perform, f--- 'em'

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Rod Blagojevich's onetime close friend and congressional chief of staff John Wyma took the stand this afternoon and launched into testimony involving pay-to-play allegations.

Wyma testified about Blagojevich's alleged attempts to force then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel to hold a fund-raiser (or have his rich brother, Ari, to hold one) in exchange for releasing state funds to a school in Emanuel's district.

Wyma said Blagojevich's request made him so uncomfortable he didn't do it.

Until he did.

"At some point did you make a request of Mr. Emanuel for a fund-raiser?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton asked.
"I did," Wyma said. "Months later ... Because the grant issue had been resolved."

Blagojevich eventually relented, according to testimony, and released the money to the school.

"I felt it was wrong to ask him for money while aid was being, kind of, dangled," Wyma said.

Fast-forward to October 2008 when Wyma, now a lobbyist, was slapped with a subpoena involving his clients.

Wyma said that's when he began cooperating with the FBI. He played phone messages for the feds but refused to wear a wire. He attended fund-raising meetings with Blagojevich and others in the ex-governor's inner circle.

That's when Blagojevich described his take on people who wanted to do business with the state.

"If they don't perform," Wyma said Blagojevich told him. "F--- 'em."

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1 Comment

Will he get a chance to describe how he told Rahm Emanuel and John Chase about Rod being investigated/taped by the FBI...When will we get to hear that?????? This is the guy who disrupted the entire investigation I really hope the defense doesn't let him get away with it....

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 12, 2011 4:47 PM.

Blagojevich lawyers: Did President Obama know about alleged shakedown? was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich retrial: Day 15 -- Are we nearing the end? is the next entry in this blog.

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