Reporting with Natasha Korecki
Rod Blagojevich's defense lawyer Aaron Goldstein is questioning witness Robert Greenlee's memory of a conversation with Blagojevich about Children's Memorial Hospital.
Greenlee was involved in discussing a rate increase for doctors at Children's. Blagojevich, he said, told him to hold it up. The government alleges Blagojevich was trying to get campaign contributions from the CEO of Children's.Memorial Hospital.
In a Nov. 12 call, Blagojevich asks Greenlee about the rate increase for doctors at Children's.
BLAGOJEVICH: And we have total discretion over it?
BLAGOJEVICH: So we could pull it back if we needed to, budgetary concerns, right?
GREENLEE: We sure could. Yep.
BLAGOJEVICH: Okay, that's good to know.
Greenlee went ahead and stalled the plans to make the rate increase happen. He said he understood that's what Blagojevich wanted him to do. Goldstein seems to imply that Greenlee got it all wrong by calling off the plan, and that Blagojevich never gave him a directive on that call.
"Now Mr. Greenlee, you speak English, is that correct?" Goldstein asks.
"Don't do that," Judge James Zagel says.
Greenlee testifies that Blagojevich often gave him orders in a vague way. In a late November call Blagojevich told him to hold off on the rate increase for the second time -- but there's no recording of that conversation.
Goldstein says Greenlee told the FBI "it was possible" Blagojevich had given him the second directive. Greenlee today says, to his recollection, that it happened.
"Are you sure of your recollection?" Goldstein asks.