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|Blagojevich Retrial Testimony Continues
|(IRN)-A former chief of staff for former Governor Rod Blagojevich is on the witness stand for a second day Wednesday in the ex-governor's corruption re-trial.
On Tuesday, John Harris testified that Blagojevich questioned him on what he could get in exchange for appointing someone to the U.S. Senate. Harris told jurors that he told the ex-governor that he couldn't gain anything personally but could reward an ally or gain a potential ally with the appointment.
Harris, a 49 year old apprentice lineman, was on the stand for several days in the first trial. Prosecutors say he is a key witness in their retrial of the former governor, who's accused of scheming to sell a U.S. Senate seat and shaking people down for campaign contributions. Harris began cooperating with the government after he was arrested. He has agreed to a plea bargain on charges of conspiracy to solicit a bribe. When he is eventually sentenced, he faces up to 35 months in prison.
Prosecutors offered into evidence the first of many recordings that will be used in the trial. It was a phone conversation between Harris and Blagojevich in which they talked about potential candidates for the Senate appointment. Blagojevich inquired what he could get for an appointment and specifically mentions the position of Health and Human Services secretary. "How about Health and Human Services, can I get that?" Blagojevich asks Harris. A second recording caught Blagojevich and Harris talking about possibly appointing former State Senate President Emil Jones to the Senate in exchange for Jones' remaining campaign cash. Blagojevich is again heard taking about becoming secretary of Health and Human Services in exchange for appointing a friend of President Obama to the Senate.
In streamlining their case, prosecutors are sticking close to five instances where they say Blagojevich broke the law, including the Senate appointment.
(Source: Illinois Radio Network)
|05 04 11 by Newsroom
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