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

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Blagojevich: Can I be governor forever?

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Reporting with Lark Turner

We're back up and running this afternoon as prosecutors weave a tale, through recorded tapes, of a governor desperate to get into a high-paying job and out of Illinois.

Rod Blagjoevich is on a conference call with advisers where he's heard complaining about President-Elect Obama's political ascension.

"Obama has put a ceiling on me now ... Can I be governor forever?" Blagojevich said on the recording played in court.
Blagojevich appears to feel hemmed in after the 2008 presidential election, lamenting there was no room for his own political movement. He wonders what's better than governor? Mayor of Chicago?
"What else would you want to do if you're governor of Illinois? How long do you want to be governor?" He later adds: "Look at Obama, I believe I'm more pristine on (convicted businessman Tony) Rezko than him."

With John Harris still up on the stand, Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton tries to go in for the kill on the allegation that Blagojevich was attempting to leverage his power to appoint someone to the U.S. Senate to get a personal benefit.

"In the end, he wanted one for the other," former chief of staff John Harris says of Blagojevich's talk regarding Valerie Jarrett, Obama's pick to replace him in the U.S. Senate in 2008.

Hamilton: "To be clear, he did in fact ask for the position of Health and Human Services in exchange for making Valerie Jarrett Senator?
Harris: Yes.

They also touch on the Lisa Madigan deal, which is discussed on tape. Blagojevich repeatedly raises Madigan on tape as a way to scare Obama's people into thinking if they don't give Blagojevich what he wants (a job, ambassadorship) then he'll appoint Madigan.
Outside of court, Blagojevich has repeatedly said that he seriously considered a deal to appoint Madigan to the Senate seat so that he could move his legislative agenda through the Springfield stalemate.

Hamilton asks Harris if the Madigan deal was realistic.
"No one had approached Lisa Madigan there was no steps in that direction, other than discussing possible lists of items that might be in a legislative package," Harris said.

Federal prosecutors may reindict former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to help avoid problems with a possible U.S. Supreme Court decision, prosecutors said in a court filing today.

The high court is looking at three cases dealing with the honest services statute -- something Blagojevich is now accused of violating. Blagojevich's defense team had asked for a trial delay to see how a Supreme Court's ruling may affect his case.


Authorities are executing a search warrant today in connection with the theft of laptops in the case of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the Sun-Times has learned.

Sources say police have a solid lead on a suspect who may have broken into the South Side offices of Sam Adam and Sam Adam Jr., Blagojevich's attorneys.


Authorities are investigating a break-in at the South Side offices of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's lawyers, where a handful of laptop computers used in the ex-governor's case were stolen.

Eight computers and a safe were swiped Thursday from the office of veteran criminal defense attorneys Sam Adam and his son Sam Adam Jr., Deputy Supt. Steve Peterson said.

Sam Adam Jr. said eight to 10 laptops were taken -- about half of which dealt with the Blagojevich case.

However, Adam said he's "99 percent sure" sensitive material was not on those laptops. The laptops link up to a main server where the sensitive material -- including tapes and transcripts that are not public -- is stored.

Tapes and transcripts were not downloaded on the laptops, but Adam said they're still determining whether anything sensitive may have been stored in the computers' temporary files.



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The Chicago Sun-Times has obtained a copy of an internal fund-raising list kept by Friends of Blagojevich that the feds say is a key piece of evidence in their pay-to-play investigation into the ex-governor.

Blagojevich Target List

Those on the target list who gave to Blago in that time period.

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