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|Blagojevich Talks about Senate Seat from the Witness Stand
|(IRN)-Talk turned to the vacant U.S. Senate seat in the retrial of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and that testimony continues Wednesday.
On his third day on the witness stand, Blagojevich started to testify about his opportunity to appoint someone to the U.S. Senate. Blagojevich's attorney asked the former governor Tuesday if he talked a lot about the opportunity from mid-October through his arrest on Dec. 9, 2008. "Yes I did, obsessively," admitted Blagojevich. With political pressure mounting in Springfield and talk of impeachment in editorials, Blagojevich testified that he thought his decision would be his "last opportunity" to do something for the people of Illinois. "There was a method to the madness and I really believed I was on the right track," Blagojevich said.
Defense attorney Aaron Goldstein asked Blagojevich about those who he sought counsel from regarding the appointment. Bob Greenlee, John Harris and Bill Quinlan, all lawyers, were among those with whom Blagojevich talked. The defense is trying to show that Blagojevich was surrounded by people who should've known better but didn't stop Blagojevich from talking about the benefits that could be realized from a Senate appointment.
Blagojevich testified that it was in the summer of 2008 that he started to think about who he would appoint if then-Sen. Barack Obama was elected president. Besides himself, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, then-Senate President Emil Jones, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis or an "African American war hero" were all on his mind as potential candidates. "I wanted an African American Tammy Duckworth," Blagojevich said, referring to the then-director of Illinois' Department of Veterans affairs who lost her legs while serving in Iraq.
When court recessed for the day, Judge James B. Zagel told defense attorneys that he will have to make some kind of jury instruction about political horse trading unless the defense calls an expert witness. Zagel warned that the suggestion that nobody stopped Blagojevich so therefore he thought it was legal was taking the defense argument down a road that he doesn't like.
(Source: Illinois Radio Network)
|06 01 11 by Newsroom
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