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

Blagojevich to Greenlee on tape: 'I'll (bleeping) fire you'

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With Robert Greenlee on the stand, prosecutors are playing tapes from early December where Blagojevich starts debating about his dwindling options for who to appoint to the Senate seat.

Greenlee, Blagojevich's deputy governor, says perhaps Blagojevich should consider going along with a choice that may appease Washington, D.C.: Tammy Duckworth.

Blagojevich snaps angrily at Greenlee.

"Get the f--- outta here Greenlee,I'll f---ing fire you. She's got no f---ing chance," he tells Greenlee."I'm gonna f---ing take hits in the black community for Durbin and f---ing Harry Reid and Rahm, f--- them and Axelrod."

"Yeah, I was just f---ing with you," Greenlee quietly responds.

Greenlee testified that he took Blagojevich's threat to fire him seriously.

Debating between appointing Lisa Madigan and Jesse Jackson Jr. -- who Greenlee says wasn't in consideration at all by the governor before early December -- Blagojevich launches into an analogy.

"If they were both drowning and I could save one, I really think I'd save Jesse," he tells adviser Fred Yang and Greenlee. "He's less objectionable to me than she is."

A poll that morning suggested Jackson Jr. was the most popular candidate in Illinois. Emissaries of Jackson Jr. had approached Blagojevich with offers of campaign contributions, Blagojevich suggests on the call.

Greenlee says he's just "expressing" his concerns when he says, "I don't know how you can, justify, you know, talking about a deal with someone you know will not keep their deal."

But Blagojevich charges ahead.

"Some of that tangible stuff can happen before it all happens. There are tangible things that can happen before," he says.

Testifying today, Greenlee said he understood Blagojevich to be talking about receiving cash contributions in an amount greater than $1 million from Jackson Jr.'s supporters.

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 11, 2011 1:47 PM.

Blago to Illinois: 'I gave your grandmother a free f---ing ride on a bus. OK?' was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich in December 2008: 'They have recordings of me?' is the next entry in this blog.

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