©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|Blagojevich Experiences Cross Examination
|(IRN)-Cross examination of Rod Blagojevich began Thursday afternoon in the former governor's political corruption retrial.
It took exactly an hour for government prosecutor Reid Schar to get Blagojevich to answer just a handful of questions as the two went head to head, talking over each other, the judge and other attorneys. Blagojevich is still working on those "yes" or "no" answers, instead answering with a long explanation as he had done on direct examination, and failing to notice the many objections hurled from the defense table.
"Mr. Blagojevich, you are a convicted liar, correct?" said Schar, in a stern tone, his opening question to Blagojevich. An immediate objection by the defense was quickly overruled. You are "convicted of lying to the FBI, correct?" Schar asks. "Yes," replied Blagojevich, confirming his conviction on one count of lying to the FBI in his first trial. Jurors were hung on the rest of the charges.
Schar spent the hour he had before court ended for the week trying to prove that lying was a habit of the former governor. He accused Blagojevich of lying to the public when he had his staff slip to a Chicago political gossip columnist that Blagojevich had a meeting with U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Chicago) and he was a contender for the U.S. Senate Seat. The meeting never happened but Blagojevich testified during direct examination that it was a move to put pressure on those in Washington to hammer out a deal between Blagojevich and House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) on a capital bill. "That was a misdirection play in politics," Blagojevich said.
"It was not true, it was a lie," countered Schar.
"I don't see it that way," replied Blagojevich. "It's the quarterback faking a handoff and throwing long," Blagojevich said after much back and forth. "It's part of the business." Blagojevich continually asked Schar for transcripts related to the questions he was being asked. He says he wants to see them before answering the questions.
After court, Judge James B. Zagel asked Schar how long cross examination could take. "If it continues the way it's continued, the leaves will start turning," he said. If Blagojevich can get to "yes" and "no" answers, maybe a day or two, he tells the judge. He added that the prosecution does have a rebuttal case and the defense says they may have a few additional witnesses who would be brief while on the stand.
Blagojevich is accused of scheming to sell or trade a U.S. Senate seat and shaking people down for campaign cash. Cross examination picks up on Monday.
(Source: Illinois Radio Network)
|06 02 11 by Newsroom
Click here for the WGIL News Archive
Click here for national news
The following provision applies to all visitors (which shall include persons and representatives of legal entities, whether such representatives are persons or digital engines of a kind that crawls, indexes, scrapes, copies, stores or transmits digital content). By accessing this Web site or digital service, you specifically acknowledge and agree that: (i) Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium; (ii) No Associated Press materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use; (iii) The Associated Press will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing; (iv) The Associated Press is an intended third party beneficiary of these terms and conditions and it may exercise all rights and remedies available to it; and (v) The Associated Press reserves the right to audit possible unauthorized commercial use of AP materials or any portion thereof at any time.