Defense lawyer Joseph Duffy is pulling out all the stops in trying to diffuse the government’s case against Tony Rezko.
- Duffy told jurors that Rezko probably did more fund-raising for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), President Bush and St. Jude’s children’s hospital in 2003 than he did for Gov. Blagojevich. That includes “a Barack Obama fund-raiser or two.” This isn’t the first time Duffy trotted out Obama’s name during the trial. He did the same thing during opening statements.
- Duffy took aim at former Illinois Finance Authority Executive Director Ali Ata, saying Ata over-hyped his relationship with Rezko and under-hyped it with the Blagojevich and Mell families. Ata didn’t need Rezko to get a state job, Duffy said, because he was so close to the governor and Patti Blagojevich’s father, Ald. Dick Mell (33rd). “[Ata] could have gone and rang the doorbell at the governor’s house and probably gotten a hug from Patti,” Duffy said.
-Duffy on Blagojevich campaign contributions made by people who were appointed to posts on state boards and commissions: “They [prosecutors] want you to believe that people gave campaign contributions to get on boards that didn’t pay any money.”
-Duffy rebutting phone charts the government presented as evidence: “Mr. Rezko’s so-called political influence has been grossly, grossly overstated. How many phone calls did we have between Mr. Rezko and the governor? Remember that chart? It doesn’t exist.”
-- By Chris Fusco