Judge Zagel and Blagojevich's attorney Carolyn Gurland engaged in discussion of a "Coffee" analogy about whether Blagojevich ran his advisors or they ran him. This came up in the context of whether he was a "leader" eligible for more prison time.
Blagojevich's aides never quite got him the exact deal he was looking for in exchange for him appointing someone to Barack Obama's senate seat. Does that mean he's off the hook? Some aides testified they never relayed his threats to intended targets.
Judge Zagel asks Blagojevich's attorney, Gurland: "He is the one who seems to have pointed the direction to go. How does he not qualify as a 'leader'?"
Gurland replied, "Individuals are directing Mr. Blagojevich, sometimes scripting the language that he uses."
"I don't see why that makes them independent actors in any real sense of the word," Zagel said of Blagojevich's advisors. "When you send somebody out for coffee and they're very particular about the various kinds of coffee, examples of which I won't give you because I don't drink coffee. And somebody comes back and it's not precisely the kind of coffee you asked for - 'It's what we have in stock - it's what we could get.'"
"I agree, your honor," Gurland said. "Some portions of the facts of this case dealing with Mr. Blagojevich's advisors, it would be as if, he asked them to go out and get coffee and they didn't feel like going outside because it was too cold and so they said that Dunkin Doughnuts closed. So was Intelligentsia. But they were open and they didn't being back any coffee. I do think some of his advisors were running Mr. Blagojevich and some of them even told that to the government."
Zagel ruled against Gurland -- he found Blagojevich to be a leader.
-Abdon M. Pallasch