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

Blagojevich directed his brother to meet with "the bribe guy," says prosecutor

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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.

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5 Comments

If that's the case why didn't they charge JJJ? Why didn't they mention that the Presiedent Elect used an emissary as well...If all these people were trying to buy the Senate seat WHY weren't they charged???

Blago is as guilty as guilty gets, AND he has lied repeatedly under oath over the objections of his own cousel because he believes he has nothing to lose. He also can't help himself because he's a pathological liar. Somewhere in his mind he considers the jury as an electorate he needs to win over by whatever means necessary. He figures If he tells the big lie persistently, patronizing the jury with charm and enough blathering to distract from the issues, it'll turn out just as his two elections to the governorship. In his grandiosity, he believes that people in general and this jury in particular are stupid, and he's wrong. Thanks to a stellar prosecution, he will be convicted not only of the counts against him, but of perjury as well.

Blago is as guilty as guilty gets, AND he has lied repeatedly under oath over the objections of his own cousel because he believes he has nothing to lose. He also can't help himself because he's a pathological liar. Somewhere in his mind he considers the jury as an electorate he needs to win over by whatever means necessary. He figures If he tells the big lie persistently, patronizing the jury with charm and enough blathering to distract from the issues, it'll turn out just as his two elections to the governorship. In his grandiosity, he believes that people in general and this jury in particular are stupid, and he's wrong. Thanks to a stellar prosecution, he will be convicted not only of the counts against him, but of perjury as well.

Blago is as guilty as guilty gets, AND he has lied repeatedly under oath over the objections of his own cousel because he believes he has nothing to lose. He also can't help himself because he's a pathological liar. Somewhere in his mind he considers the jury as an electorate he needs to win over by whatever means necessary. He figures If he tells the big lie persistently, patronizing the jury with charm and enough blathering to distract from the issues, it'll turn out just as his two elections to the governorship. In his grandiosity, he believes that people in general and this jury in particular are stupid, and he's wrong. Thanks to a stellar prosecution, he will be convicted not only of the counts against him, but of perjury as well.

This time the prosecution made sure to explain it so the most dense juror will know: it didn’t have to be complete with receipt of the cash, to be illegal. It was a criminal conspiracy to abuse the power of the office for personal gain, and just the attempt is enough. Occam’s Razor and all that, you can connect the dots between enough data points to get a curve that shows Rod is bent.

The first trial had more legalistic stunt work in it than a Hong Kong Action movie, and it dazzled some of the less educated and perceptive jurors. Enough with one of them to cause the retrial. The judge clamped down on that quite a bit this time, and I think (pray) the results will show.

I think the jury has seen thru plenty of Rod’s little tricks this time: the magic memory that has convenient holes in it only regarding key trial facts. The blatant attempts to insert evidence or testimony not allowed by previous rulings. The attempts to plant false ideas about alternative motives. The Eddie Haskellisms of always blessing people sneezing, trying to shake the prosecutor’s hand, when as a former prosecutor Rod KNOWS you don’t do that - the attempts at humor and self-deprecation on the stand - The jury has seen these kinds of tricks performed by their own kids, trying to weasel out of a punishment. If they are any kind of parent at all, they will see and know Rod’s ploy for what it is.

Schar and team have taken Rod’s credibility apart like a game of Jenga. I can’t imagine a scenario where Rod doesn’t come away with at least ten counts of guilty, plus his perjury on the stand.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 8, 2011 3:51 PM.

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