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

Defense lawyer to Harris: 'You don't want to be incarcerated, right?'

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Defense lawyer Aaron Goldstein is racking up objections in court today as he begins his questioning of Blagojevich's former chief of staff John Harris by asking him about his plea agreement with the government.

"You'd do anything for your family, right?" Goldstein asked Harris, earning another objection.

Goldstein's trying to imply that Harris is fabricating his testimony in order to get the best deal possible with the government, but Harris is resisting, saying he's agreed to be truthful and cooperate with the government: two things he says are one and the same.

Harris' testimony kicked off with an admission: when he was first arrested, Harris said he lied to the FBI, though was not specific about what he lied about.

Harris is currently an apprentice electrician in order to help "provide for his family," in Goldstein's phrasing. He asked about the possibility that Harris might end up on probation, and whether or not that was something Harris wanted.

"You don't want to be incarcerated, right?" Goldstein asked.

"No, of course not," answered Harris.

Now Goldstein is questioning Harris about allegations that Blagojevich held up a promised grant to the Academy for Urban School Leadership as part of a shakedown.

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 9, 2011 10:12 AM.

Blagojevich trial: Defense will grill former chief of staff John Harris was the previous entry in this blog.

Harris testimony: Blagojevich's chances of being U.N. ambassador 'extremely remote' is the next entry in this blog.

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