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

Defense tries to play first Rahm tape; prosecution blocks it

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney

Rod Blagojevich's lawyers are challenging the prosecution's contention that Blagojevich was prepared to violate the Constitution to appoint a placeholder to Rahm Emanuel's vacated Congressional seat.

In a phone call with his political adviser Fred Yang, Yang told Blagojevich the move would violate the law.

"Right, he wants you to break the constitution of the United States," Yang says in the call.

Blagojevich responds: "Right, that's a favor worth doing."

With Blagojevich back under his defense lawyer's questioning, the tone of the examination has changed. "Rod, you supported the Constitution and protected the Constitution when you were governor, isn't that right, Rod?" asks his lawyer Aaron Goldstein.

"Yes," responds Blagojevich.

Now the defense is trying to get in a call where Blagojevich talks with Rahm Emanuel, who, according to Blagojevich, called to ask Blagojevich to appoint the placeholder. Blagojevich responds in the call: "I'm happy to appoint your guy. If I can do it, I'll do it," Blagojevich said.

Goldstein contends that was Blagojevich's way of saying he would make the appointment if it were legal.

Zagel said the defense can't play the call, but can ask Blagojevich if he had the conversation and what he remembers saying. But Zagel notes Blagojevich still faces the reality of the Yang tape.

"The real thing he's going to have to cope with is the conversation with Fred Yang," Zagel tells the defense team. "The only defense I can think of is, 'I was just kidding.' But if he wants to say that, he can say that."

An agitated Sheldon Sorosky confronts Zagel about a statement he supposedly made where he acknowledged the difficulty the defense faces in playing its own evidence. Zagel disputes Sorosky's version of the conversation, but says either way Sorosky needs to stop talking.

"I think the discussion has to end because people are hungry," Zagel said.

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1 Comment

it does seem like zagel went against his word, he said they could get in the tapes they want if rod was on the stand and this is certainly a relevant tape, ensure that justice is served.

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on June 7, 2011 12:23 PM.

Blagojevich: 'I use the word tangible a lot when it comes to good stuff for people' was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich told Rahm: "I'm happy to appoint your guy. If I can do it, I'll do it." is the next entry in this blog.

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