Reporting with Natasha Korecki
A hypothetical healthcare-advocacy organization funded by major Democratic donors was never meant to pay him a big salary, Rod Blagojevich testified Thursday.
In a Nov. 12, 2008 call with his Chief of Staff John Harris, Blagojevich discusses the idea of getting people like Warren Buffett to put millions of dollars into an organization he could chair when he was finished being governor.
"Yeah, I would stay as governor oh yeah, don't get me wrong," he says. "But it'd be, we'd have this organization, the board of directors, we'd control it. And it'd be sittin' there waiting."
Blagojevich testifies it was another idea he first had in early- to mid-2008, one he never acted on, to promote healthcare.
"Get this organization up and running while I was governor, so I could go out and use this as a vehicle to promote healthcare," he tells lawyer Aaron Goldstein. "The money was going to be used to advocate healthcare, not to pay me. This was Isaiah from the Old Testament: get the rich to help the poor, that was the thinking."