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|Blago's Lawyers Blame Blago's Lawyers
|The defense in the political corruption trial of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich is trying to drive home one key constant during Blagojevich's administration.
That constant: that Blagojevich was always surrounded by lawyers who, at times, didn't point out right from wrong.
In a series of questions directed at former Blagojevich chief of staff Doug Scofield during cross examination, Blagojevich attorney Aaron Goldstein was asked if he was truthful with the governor when he talked about the vacant U.S. Senate seat, and the power to make an appointment to fill it being of value. Scofield testified that he had not been truthful to Blagojevich on several occasions. He says he did so because he already told Blagojevich that he didn't believe he would be able to get a cabinet position or other things in exchange for the Senate seat.
"Tell him what he wants to hear?" questioned Goldstein. "Yes sir, there was a lot of that," replied Scofield.
Goldstein pointed to a number of statements made by Scofield to Blagojevich that were caught on an FBI wire tap.
"Yeah, well, look, there's a bright side here...you've got something here important and valuable," Scofield is heard telling Blagojevich in reference to the Senate seat.
"You were placating Blagojevich again?" questioned Goldstein. "Yes," replied Scofield.
Goldstein later pointed out that at the time of those calls, Scofield was no longer working for the state and instead for himself in Washington. He was giving free advice to Blagojevich while also lobbying at the same time for the Service Employees International Union at a rate of $5,000 per month.
"Was that the pressure you felt?" Goldstein asked. Scofield admitted he was uncomfortable with having his paying client, SEIU, in the middle of Senate seat negotiations. It was SEIU president Tom Balanoff who had approached Blagojevich's staff about the appointment of President Obama's pick for Senate. Blagojevich also wanted his wife Patti to get a job with the union.
Scofield wasn't the only lawyer who was present during some conversations where Blagojevich allegedly talked about swapping the Senate seat. Others include former chief of staff John Harris, chief counsel Bill Quinlan, and deputy governor Bob Greenlee.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|06 30 10 by Newsroom
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