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|Wyma Testimony Over in Retrial
|(IRN)-Testimony of one of ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich's close friends and advisors ended this week of Blagojevich's retrial.
John Wyma considered himself a close friend of Blagojevich. Their relationship goes back to when Blagojevich was a Congressman. Wyma was his chief of staff. Later, Wyma opened up a lobbying firm in Chicago but continued to help Blagojevich raise campaign funds. Wyma testified Thursday that he considered himself "a central raiser of funds" for Blagojevich.
After a short talk about raising campaign funds, prosecutors went right into what prosecutors call the "school shakedown." Prosecutors say Blagojevich wanted Wyma to have then U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel's (D-Chicago) brother to hold a political fundraiser in exchange for $2 million for a school that Emanuel was working with on securing a state grant. Wyma refused at first but later changed his mind. Meanwhile Blagojevich's lawyers are again asking the judge for access to President Barack Obama's interview with the FBI in relation to the investigation. This time though, defense attorneys want to know if Obama knew he was being shaken down.
Earlier, jurors heard again from FBI special agent Daniel Cain. The first time he was on the stand he testified about wiretaps that had been set up. This time around, he testified about research he did in regards to how much money Blagojevich's campaign had on hand. For instance, at the end of 2006, Blagojevich had over $27 million in campaign cash compared to his Republican opponent, Judy Barr Topinka, who had just $9 million. The prosecution is trying to show that Blagojevich was money hungry and looked to raise as much campaign cash as possible. Besides trying to sell or trade a U.S. Senate Seat, Blagojevich is accused of trying to shake people down for campaign cash.
(Source: Illinois Radio Network)
|05 13 11 by Newsroom
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