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

Defense lawyer: 'Are you sure' Blagojevich told you to call off the hospital rate increase?

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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?
GREENLEE: Yep.
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.

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3 Comments

honestly the defense attorney's need to strike at the peoples credibility(not saying there bad people) ask them if there lying, ask them why someone as level head and smart would lye to federal prosecutors, they knew there conversations with rod where taped before they talked. Surely they new it was a crime to lie to federal agents, so why did they do it, maybe they didn't I mean why wouldn't the government want to try them for their lying(that is the only thing they got rod on the first time. The point is that people as smart as the prosecutor wants the witness to be wouldn't lie to federal prosecutors because they knew there where tapes of them and they knew it was a crime, so why did they change their story? The ANSWER the defense needs to point out is money and jail time. Most of these guys have family's they didn't want to go to jail and even more importantly ask them if they think they had the money to mount a defense, look at how much money its cost Rod well over a million dollars you really think any of these guys thought they could afford to fight any possible charges and still take care of there family and kids or just not go broke, NO.
Clearly they told the truth the first time and only changed there stories when there where offered an out, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bill(it does matter if they did anything wrong it still would have cost that much) and possibly go to jail OR say the right things and don't go to jail or even for that matter be charge with lying to Federal agents. The lesson is that either it is okay to lie to federal agents or to just change your understanding of the facts if it suits the government, terrible precedent.

Note: part of the case rest on the people on the stand being smart because they understood all the undertones rod was giving them so the prosecution can't claim that they weren't
should point out
And these guys(prosecutions witness's) are necessarily terrible people, but they are lying to save themselves(which isn't right but is somewhat understandable rational thing to do), they didn't have any option, they couldn't afford/risk a trial

Hearing Blago put forward "budgetary concerns" as a reason to hold up a rate increase at Children's is a joke. Since when did Blago ever care about budgetary concerns when flying to and from Springfield? How about the cost to the state to print Blago's name on the open road tolls? Hell, he did even care about his own reckless spending on 400k of clothing.

Hearing Blago put forward "budgetary concerns" as a reason to hold up a rate increase at Children's is a joke. Since when did Blago ever care about budgetary concerns when flying to and from Springfield? How about the cost to the state to print Blago's name on the open road tolls? Hell, he did even care about his own reckless spending on 400k of clothing.

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 12, 2011 11:52 AM.

Blagojevich judge to defense lawyer: 'Be more precise' was the previous entry in this blog.

Prosecutors say Blagojevich tried to dupe Greenlee is the next entry in this blog.

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