Reporting with Lark Turner
Rod Blagojevich tiptoes around the trickiest call. In a Dec. 4, 2008 call, he's telling his brother to meet with a fund-raiser, Raghu Nayak, who had already offered $1.5 million in campaign fund-raising in exchange for a Jesse Jackson Jr. appointment.
"If there's tangible political support like you've said, start showing us now," Blagojevich tells his brother.
Blagojevich on the stand explains that if he's going to elevate Jackson, then he needs to see "political support up front." And insists this is all still a play against the Washington establishment that didn't want Jackson. Blagojevich wanted to put Lisa Madigan in the seat to get a legislative
"I wanted to see him publicly advocating my stuff now," Blagojevich said. "I liked that because that would send a signal to Washington that Jesse Jackson Jr. and I were resurrecting an old political alliance."
Blagojevich also says on the call to his brother: "You gotta be careful how you express that, that the whole world is listening."
But he's not referring to secret FBI wiretaps, he says.
"The whole world is listening, is a phrase I use all the time," Blagojevich says on the stand. "When you talk to someone...in politics...you assume everybody's listening."
Blagojevich says he was hoping Jackson would agree to back a mortgage bill that the then-governor supported. Though this shows up nowhere on the recording.
"In my mind, that day and the day before, we were working on a mortgage foreclosure bill that passed the Senate. In my mind that day was a desire to pass a mortgage foreclosure bill," Blagojevich said. "This wasn't even said because my words were outpacing my ideas."
Even after all these phone calls and arrangements to meet with a Jackson donor, Blagojevich stays on one point:
"I was never going to appoint Congressman Jackson," Blagojevich says.