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Judge may delay trial a week

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* Looks like we’re going to get a little break in the trial

The federal judge presiding over former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s corruption case says he will delay the trial for one week if prosecutors rest on Tuesday.

Judge James Zagel made the statement in court Tuesday.

Hmm. I may use this as an opportunity to take some time off.

The defense has been arguing that they can’t get a fair trial without a delay…

With just a day or two until showtime — and with vacation schedules and Secret Service logistics to contend with for big-name witnesses such as Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett — the defense said Monday they could be “out of luck.”

“A fair trial is destroyed,” Blagojevich attorney Sam Adam Sr. told reporters in the courthouse lobby Monday afternoon. “We told our witnesses we’d be in touch late August. All of a sudden, the government cuts their case short . . . They misled us. They misled the court.”

And we got a hint about at least two witnesses Adam wants to call

Two defense witnesses subpoenaed from the White House — Chief of Staff Emanuel and presidential adviser Jarrett — also require Secret Service arrangements that are difficult to set up last-minute, Adam said.

DC is gonna go absolutely nuts over that.

* The old rule about federal prosecutions is: “First one on the train doesn’t get thrown under the bus,” or something like that. Lon Monk refused a train ticket in 2005 when the feds came calling. He’s now going to prison. John Wyma eagerly jumped aboard the tren federales in 2008, and today he is testifying against his old friend Rod Blagojevich with a grant of immunity

Blagojevich, sitting at the defense table, stared at Wyma as he passed him on his way to the witness stand. The ex-governor visibly sighed when hit the stand.

Wyma — a tanned, blond-haired man wearing a gray suit and pink and blue striped tie — says he was one of Blagojevich’s “central raisers.” Fund-raising meetings were attended by the governor, Lon Monk and Chris Kelly, among others. […]

Regarding TRS, Wyma testifies that Chris Kelly told him in 2004 that if Wyma’s clients wanted to do business with TRS, they had to make a $50,000 campaign contribution to Blagojevich.

Wyma said he didn’t pass that on to his client, though — “because I thought it was wrong, obviously wrong.”

* Roundup…

* Brown: Blagojevich got wrong answers from his yes men: It could certainly be argued that Rod Blagojevich was ill-served by the top people working for him in the governor’s office, none of whom apparently had the nerve to tell him he was making a big mistake — and another and another and another. In fact, I was going to argue precisely that, until I realized it partially misses the point, which is that like any chief executive who surrounds himself with yes-men, toadies and butt-kissing ‘’team players,'’ Blagojevich got exactly what he deserved.

* Prosecutors show Blago taking oath of office

* Blagojevich trial: Day 23 and recap

* Did You Vote for Blagojevich? Sit on the Jury to Atone for Your Sins!

* Blagojevich trial: notes critical of ex-guv revealed

* Blagojevich lawyers seek a week delay in trial

* 60 Objections … and Counting

* Blagojevich judge to defense: you’re wasting time

* Judge annoyed by grammar lesson

* Zagel tells of emails to him, and a ‘Hey, judge’ encounter

* Judge to hold hearing on release of Blagojevich jurors’ names

* Blagojevich had more than $1 million in legal bills in 2008

* Prosecutors want to air Blagojevich’s legal bills

* Defense will argue Rod got bad legal advice

* Defense attorney: Rod Blagojevich was working under advice of a highly qualified deputy

* Witness: If I waited for Blagojevich’s word on matters “the state would have ground to a halt.”

* Greenlee to Blagojevich: “Nobody Is More Qualified Than You”

* Blagojevich aide: I was working for the people of Illinois

* Defense attorney, ex-deputy governor spar over definition of “legitimate”

* Blagojevich trial: Defense can’t question on Greenlee-Quinlan connection

* Defense attorney takes a microscope to Rod Blagojevich statements

* Robert Blagojevich attorney: Robert not at the table for key Senate seat discussions

* Floating Jackson, but moving toward Madigan

* Tribune: Jesse Jr.’s dilemma

* Patti’s Tribune rant makes a comeback

* Defense attorney: Targeting newspaper editorial board was Bob Greenlee’s idea

* Quinn signs bill banning taxpayer money for portrait of Blagojevich

* Illinois Gov Signs Anti-Blago Portrait Law

posted by Rich Miller
Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 12:27 pm


  1. Hmm, I thought the expression was: the first guy on the bus gets the best seat. Wyma got a very nice seat. Monk, not so much.

    Comment by 47th Ward Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 12:31 pm

  2. Does this mean that Sam Adam will never be hired to defend a casea gain? He will move onto tv lawyer fame? I am no legal expert, but this defense seems blah at best…of course, he has a fool for a client.

    Comment by Wumpus Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 12:34 pm

  3. I wonder if Bob Greenlee has learned anything. Or if he even regrets his tenure. He was on the state of Illinois payroll, over $100k salary, during the period he was failing to confront our Blago on a whole range of matters. He was supposed to be working for us, not for Blago. He can hardly plead ignorance and it’s very hard to believe he couldn’t have gotten another job stat if he simply quit. I suppose he thought he was doing “the people” a favor by staying on. He should have spared us. And we should be spared Mr. Greenlee working in any government job in the future.

    Comment by cassandra Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 12:44 pm

  4. > “We told our witnesses we’d be in touch late August. All of a sudden, the government cuts their case short . . . They misled us. They misled the court.”

    An open and shut case is not gonna take months to prove…sorry you didn’t get your ducks in a row trying desperately to somehow show all these smoking guns aren’t smoking.

    Comment by Segatari Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 12:48 pm

  5. I think Cassandra hit on something that has been on my mind lately….why would any of these characters (Lon Monk, Greenlee, Harris, Wyma, etc) even want to work in a job where they have to make up, say, anything to appease their mercurial, meglomaniacal boss? Who would want to work in a place like that for one day? And why would they want to work there? It’s hardly Apple or Google where the perks and pay make it worthwhile.

    Comment by Knome Sane Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:16 pm

  6. Two losers working for two fools.
    If Rod and Patti hadn’t been caught or stopped they surely would have followed through with their plans to enrich themselves at people of Illinois expense.
    Part of Rod’s sentence should be solitary confinement for at least 5 years.

    Comment by Carlos Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:21 pm

  7. The perks aren’t with the job. The perks come after you leave. When Blagojevich was a rising star, if you could claim you were his right-hand man, your meal ticket was written… for life.

    They made the mistake of riding to the bottom.

    Comment by John Bambenek Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:23 pm

  8. - Knome Sane - Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:16 pm:
    Who would want to work in a place like that for one day?
    And why would they want to work there?

    Answer: They all thought Rod was on the fast-track to be President of the United States and they all were going to ride Rod & Patti’s coat-tails to bigger and better things.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$ & POWER !

    Comment by Carlos Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:27 pm

  9. As I remember it, those guys really liked how the crowd parted when they came into the room.

    Comment by Way Way Down Here Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:39 pm

  10. Judge may delay trial a week: The Adams Tag Team will out searching for the “kitty” as witness. Rod may need a lint brush too, the fur could fly,
    Call it the “Stray Cat Strut”

    Comment by Wacker Drive Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:39 pm

  11. It looks like Wyma is going to chew up all of today and part of tomorrow, at least. Judge Zagel said before he’d adjourn for the day when the prosecution rested. Since the case isn’t running on Fridays, anyways, that means any break would be for a day or so in trial time, so don’t go planning a vacation just yet.

    If Zagel keeps the defense on the straight and narrow (as he has so far) Jarrett and Emanuel won’t have much to say. They can’t be called just to impeach them and the testimony has to be relevant to the case at hand, so most of the juicy stuff people would probably hope to hear would be off limits.

    Comment by Berkeley Bear Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:53 pm

  12. Cassandra, others…

    I don’t think you can find anybody who has met or knew Bob Greenlee who has a negative opinion of him.

    As Deputy Governor, Bob’s job was to be in charge of policy for the state of Illinois. He reviewed every piece of legislation, coordinated budget efforts, led special initiatives and other policy decisions.

    When you are in that type of role (especially with an absentee governor), you do the bulk of the work yourself with minimal guidance and broad strokes of vision from your Governor boss.

    Having to sit and babysit an ADD Governor rant and rave about whatever he cared about that minute (as we heard in the tapes) was not part of the job. Just a distraction.

    Comment by George Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:53 pm

  13. Meaning… Mark Brown’s and Sam Adams Sr.’s description of him as just an “advisor” (”$130k a year for bad advice?”), who just sat around and gave his opinion to the Governor, is just ignorant.

    Comment by George Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:55 pm

  14. I doubt if they’re putting up any plaques of Greenlee at U of C Law School.

    Comment by wordslinger Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:57 pm

  15. If the delay prevents a conviction from being overturned on a technicality the so be it. What ever it take to put this buffon of a theif behing bars.

    Comment by Dan S, a taxpayer and a Cubs Fan Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 1:58 pm

  16. After this trial, that cliche about people swearing like sailors or truck drivers may have to be changed to “swearing like an Illinois governor.” :-)

    Comment by Secret Square Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 2:14 pm

  17. ===If Zagel keeps the defense on the straight and narrow (as he has so far)===
    The judge has said over and over to the defense to wait until its their turn. They can then ask the questions they want of their witnesses. I know they don’t get carte blanche but there will be a lot more interesting questions, many of which the judge will allow.

    Comment by Anonymous Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 2:39 pm

  18. Bob Greenlee is a very bright and hard working young man…but most of his experience came under John Filan’s leadership. I don’t believe Greenlee had any practical political experience and coupled with his limited life experience, he didn’t know when he was in over his head. Blago needed to be slaped down hard by somebody with a strong sense of ethics and the political know how. However, Blago never let anybody like that close to him.

    Comment by Louis Howe Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 2:44 pm

  19. Mark Brown, Daley has surrounded himself with nothing but toadies and yes men since early in his administration and nothing has ever happened to him.

    Comment by Jim Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 2:44 pm

  20. The following is from the SunTimes Natasha’s blog:
    ===Earlier in testimony, Wyma said he pulled in $1 million a year as an Illinois lobbyist.
    “Other than being a friend of Gov. Blagojevich, will you tell me why these people paid you $1 million,” Sorosky asked.===
    Makes you wonder why the governor couldn’t have asked Wyma, or Milan, or whoever made that kind of dough for over 6 years, for a loan. Kind of makes the type of money Monk was talking about them eventually splitting up seem like chump change.

    Comment by Been There Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 3:14 pm

  21. I worked with Bob Greenlee and liked and respected him. I still do. He’s smart and his heart is in the right place. It’s tragic that he got caught in the Blagojevich web.

    I know everybody likes to come up with scenarios of ulterior motives, etc., but a lot of us in state government are here because we want to make a positive difference in the lives of our neighbors.

    I’ve never discussed this with Greenlee, but I’m guessing that he thought that placating Rod was the price he had to pay to keep his job and keep on trying to do the right thing for the people of Illinois.

    Seriously — you think $130,000 is the best that a Yale undergrad, U of C law grad can do, especially before the crash? Greenlee was working in government for the right reasons. It makes me sick that this has happened to him.

    Comment by soccermom Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 3:17 pm

  22. Soccermom, you’re hilarious.

    According to you, on the one hand, Greenlee is a good-hearted man who enables a criminally lunatic governor because he’s scared for his 130K job.

    On the other, he’s this whiz kid who’s slumming in state government at $130K to….. enable a criminally lunatic governor?

    Thanks for nothing, Einstein. Did they ever teach you at school to examine your principles and act on them in daily life? Get a refund on tuition. A dog will lick your feet for scraps.

    He’s Popeye — he is what he is.

    Comment by wordslinger Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 3:50 pm

  23. Emanuel and Jarrett receive USSS protection??? I wonder how many others in the White House are getting protection. Used to be only the President and Vice President and their immediate families received protection — absent a specific threat against other staff.

    Comment by Behind The Scenes Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 3:57 pm

  24. So, apparently Greenlee was the one to coin the term “trying to do the right thing for the people of Illinois”. Wow, I wonder if he sold it to RB? Hope he got paid alot for it.

    Comment by dupage dan Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 4:01 pm

  25. Daley, for all his faults, is interested in policy and has a sense of what the responsibilities of his job are. (We may disagree on how he wields his power, but that’s another issue.) Blagojevich surrounded himself with yes men, put no time in at the office, and actively avoided the responsibilities of the job. He’s like a Michael Scott with no supervisor.

    Comment by Boone Logan Square Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 4:05 pm

  26. @Behind the Scenes:

    =I wonder how many others in the White House are getting protection. Used to be only the President and Vice President and their immediate families received protection=

    The Chief of Staff and senior policy advisor(s) have been under the protection of the USSS for many a year, under many previous administrations. This is not new under the Obama administration.

    Comment by Knome Sane Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 5:21 pm

  27. Hey, wordslinger —

    I apparently did not make myself clear. I’ll try again.

    When you’re working under a criminally lunatic governor, sometimes you try to hang on to your job because you’re terrified that, if you’re kicked out, the criminal lunatic in charge will replace you with one of his criminally lunatic friends. So you do your best to mitigate the damage, and tell yourself that it’s better to work for a crook and try to do good things behind his back than to leave the field open for more crooks.

    Do I agree with that approach? Hell no. But have I heard a number of otherwise reasonable people offer that excuse for staying with Rod? Yes.

    By the way, I never said that working in state government is “slumming.” Far from it. But it is simply true that people with blue-chip credentials can make more money working outside. I consider $130,000 a lot of money. It’s just that the big law firms pay a lot more.

    And I don’t believe I called Greenlee “Einstein.” I just thought he was a good, smart guy who made a catastrophically bad choice in taking the Deputy Governor job.

    But just for the record — I am, in fact, hilarious.

    Comment by soccermom Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 5:46 pm

  28. So has our “Bill” reprised his role in the Tribune comment sections as “Dave” or even possibly “goodmongo”? LOL

    Comment by Been there before Tuesday, Jul 13, 10 @ 8:03 pm

  29. ==I don’t think you can find anybody who has met or knew Bob Greenlee who has a negative opinion of him.==

    I dealt with him a couple of times, and found him likable, dedicated, smart and competent. Learning about his role in Blago’s schemes saddened me more than anything else that has come out about all this.

    Comment by Pat Robertson Wednesday, Jul 14, 10 @ 8:54 am

  30. for the record i don’t like anyone who went you yale or u of c, much less both. sounds like he could be on the supreme ct though?

    Comment by fred Wednesday, Jul 14, 10 @ 10:05 am

  31. Isn’t it possible that the defense attorney’s approach of blaming those around Blago for not advising him that his ideas were illegal could backfire? One it seems to implicitly accept that the ideas/actions were in fact illegal or there would be no need for being advised of such. Also ignorance of the law does not make someone innocent so while advice of illegality may not have been given it is not required to make them guilty.

    Comment by Nuance Wednesday, Jul 14, 10 @ 10:09 am

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