Stuart Levine, the top witness in the Tony Rezko trial, has been on the stand for just a little more than three hours over two days and already he's done considerable damage. He's dropped bombshells on Gov. Blagojevich and Ed Vrdolyak, and told of various bad deeds committed by old friends.
Taking the stand is one of the toughest things Levine has ever had to do, his lawyer said.
"This is obviously a very difficult situation he's in and he's handling it the very best he can," Levine's lawyer, Jeffrey Steinback said after court Wednesday.
Levine's cooperation helped him cut a deal to serve just 67 months in prison when he could have faced up to life.
It isn't just the telling that's tough. Levine is expected to undergo some serious cross examination by a well-experienced defense lawyer, Joseph Duffy.
And there's plenty of problems for Duffy to pick at. Levine admitted he's used drugs for 30 years. He stopped in May 2004 -- the same month he was paid a visit by FBI agents.
Levine's testimony also showed his true colors Tuesday and Wednesday -- and they weren't pretty.
The former HMO magnate and Highland Park businessman said he paid bribes as a matter of course to help his clients win government contracts.
He was a loyal Republican for decades. Until a Democrat took over the statehouse. Then Levine admitted he befriended Rezko so he could get closer to Gov. Blagojevich -- and make money.