Defense lawyer Joseph Duffy works to downplay witness Ali Ata's contention that Rezko held vast influence in the Blagojevich administration.
Duffy asked about Ata's contention that Rezko told him not to worry about talking to the feds because Rezko was working with his friend Bob Kjellander to change the U.S. Attorney.
Duffy asked Ata if he thought Rezko had influence over the President of the United States, the person who appoints the U.S. Attorney.
"Mr. Rezko informed me that Kjellander was working with (White House chief adviser Karl) Rove, whether he had influence or not..." Ata said but he was cut off.
"What I said about the change of the U.S. Attorney, is what took place," Ata said quietly, looking down.
Duffy chided Ata for lying to the FBI, something Ata was charged with.
"Did you think that Mr Rezko was going to have some power over the FBI that he was going to be able to protect you if you went in and lied to the FBI?"
"Yes," Ata said.
Duffy also questioned the level of Rezko's influence in getting Ata his job when, Ata had testified he had a long-standing relationship with 33rd ward Ald. Dick Mell -- Gov. Blagojevich's father-in-law. Ata was a longtime fund-raiser and supporter of Mell and supported Blagojevich before his run for governor.
"You didn’t need Mr. Rezko to introduce you to Gov. Blagojevich, did you?" Duffy asked.
"No," Ata said.
Ata had testified he brought a $25,000 check to the governor at Rezko's Chicago offices. Ata admitted he didn't need Rezko to get him a meeting with Blagojevich but he added that Rezko told him the governor would be there that day -- and to bring the check.