Reporting with Lark Turner
Rod Blagojevich's guilt is "overwhelming" when it comes to allegations that he plotted to take $1.5 million in exchange for appointing Jesse Jackson Jr. to the Senate seat, a federal prosecutor said in her closing argument.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton pointed jurors to a series of phone calls on Dec. 4, 2008, when the then-governor discussed elevating Jackson with several people, including Blagojevich's brother.
His brother, Robert, was in charge of fund-raising. Blagojevich is heard on tape directing him to meet with Jackson fund-raiser Raghu Nayak. On the stand, Blagojevich admitted that Nayak's offer of cash for the Senate seat was "illegal."
Blagojevich said he was simply telling his brother to meet with Nayak to tell him that Jackson had better advance some good legislation -- including a mortgage foreclosure bill -- if he wanted the Senate seat. Hamilton told jurors that explanation was a "whopper."
"He's the bribe guy," Hamilton says incredulously. "He's not the mortgage foreclosure guy. This is completely made up."
Hamilton said Blagojevich's guilt is right on that tape.
"He's got to see the money. He wants to see the money ...Right there, that moment on the call. (that's breaking the law). He's directing his brother to take a bribe."
"It's overwhelming that the defendant tried to take a $1.5 million bribe if he made Jesse Jackson Jr. senator," Hamilton said.