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

Blagojevich questioning moves to substance in charges

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Reporting with Lark Turner

We're starting to get into some of the meat of the allegations.

And Rod Blagojevich's denials are flying.

He addresses Lon Monk's contention that he, Blagojevich, Chris Kelly and Tony Rezko met to discuss how to make money off of state deals.

"I never had a conversation in California, where I talked about I might make money off of state action with those guys, never ever," Blagojevich said.

His lawyer, Aaron Goldstein asks: "Did you take cash from Tony Rezko?"

Blagojevich: "No."

Monk testified he had taken $70,000 to $90,000 in cash from Rezko without Blagojevich's knowledge.

Blagojevich has gotten several warnings from Judge James Zagel to stay on point. He's giving narrative, detailed, sometimes rambling answers to questions.

In front of jury, Zagel looks right at Blagojevich when he tells him to listen to the questions. The ex-governor looks right back at him: "Yes, judge."

At another point, Blagjoevich is rambling again.

Prosecutor Reid Schar stands up, saying nothing.

"Sorry. I'm sorry, judge," Blagojevich says, cutting himself off.

On a break, Zagel tells Blagojevich -- and his lawyer, Aaron Goldstein -- that the narrative is risky. He tells Goldstein to step up.

It's "for the benefit of your client to ask questions quickly," Zagel said, noting that if politicians hear dead air, then tend to fill it. "Because he's pretty much giving you the chance to ask him another question."

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Day three of Rod Blagojevich's testimony begins today as the defense continues to give jurors its own take on the prosecution's various shakedown charges. The government outlined five major shakedown allegations and Blagojevich last week testified abo... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 26, 2011 2:47 PM.

Blagojevich: I followed my oath as governor. But I made mistakes was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich on Rahm shakedown allegation: I didn't do it. is the next entry in this blog.

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