Lon Monk's guilty plea Tuesday ramps up the pressure on Rod Blagojevich.
From the Sun-Times today: Blagojevich has repeatedly sought to distance himself from Tony Rezko, essentially claiming that Rezko duped him. Monk's plea not only puts the two in the same room, but it also alleges that Blagojevich gave both Rezko and Kelly free rein over his administration. Monk "understood that Blagojevich and [Monk] would use their power and authority in state government as needed to assist whatever plans Rezko and Kelly put in place to make money," the plea states.
From the Chicago Tribune: Pulling back the curtain on how Blagojevich and his cohorts allegedly went about their plan, Monk's plea suggests a possible pattern of political crimes that took place well before Blagojevich allegedly offered the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama to the highest bidder. As part of his deal, Monk told prosecutors that he, Blagojevich and key fundraisers Antoin "Tony" Rezko and Christopher Kelly repeatedly met about how the four of them could secretly make money through state deals, offering the most specific account yet of how the alleged conspiracy in the case formed.
From AP: The plea is guaranteed to be a blow to Blagojevich, who is scheduled to stand trial starting June 3 on corruption charges that included allegedly trying to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat President Barack Obama held.