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Prosecutors will finish Tuesday

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* Prosecutors are moving pretty fast in the Blagojevich trial, and the judge knocked down yet another defense request

After just five weeks of testimony, prosecutors in Rod Blagojevich’s case say they’ll rest their case on Tuesday.

The government’s case was expected to last until August.

The defense asked if they could start their case the following week. Judge James Zagel said that was unlikely, but he might give them until Wednesday or Thursday to begin.

I was talking to an attorney last night who said most lawyers love Zagel for his dry sense of humor, fair rulings and his judicial temperament. Some lawyers will even camp out in a courtroom to watch Zagel on the bench, she claimed, adding she believed that jurors will probably identify with Zagel through the course of the trial and that his constant rulings against Blagojevich’s lawyers would be a very bad thing for the defense.

* So, I was reading through the latest Rod Blagojevich surveillance recording transcripts last night and one kinda jumped out at me. The recording was made November 7, 2008 at 1:12 in the afternoon and featured Blagojevich talking to his deputy governor Bob Greenlee

GREENLEE: (Reading to Blagojevich) Um, uh, “I’ve been predicting Emil for awhile”, somebody says. Um… (dial tone) (PAUSE)

GREENLEE: “Just observing, Deb Mell is coming off as brazen, ungrateful and arrogant.” This is a pro-Claypool post.


GREENLEE: Um, (clears throat) somebody else suggested Sandy Jackson for the Senate.



BLAGOJEVICH: Doesn’t sound like a lot to me.

GREENLEE: I’m still going. There’s just so many of these posts, and they keep getting pulled down. Um, the anti-Claypool post and pro Jan Schakowsky post.

BLAGOJEVICH: I don’t care about that.


BLAGOJEVICH: (To wife) It’s Faith Hill, Patti, look at ‘er.

GREENLEE: That’s it.

BLAGOJEVICH: Not so good.

GREENLEE: We need more, I’m want to see how many have been pulled down.

BLAGOJEVICH: (Exhales loudly). (PAUSE)

It looked to me like they were talking about comments on this blog. Sure enough, they were. A post that day discussed possible US Senate appointments and ran a list of names of people considering Rahm Emanuel’s US House seat. Apparently, I was deleting a whole bunch of them, but I don’t recall why. Maybe some of you do.

Blagojevich used to tell me that he didn’t ever read the blog, but his staff told me that they often read it to him or printed it out for him.

Anyway, I thought you’d like to know.

* Remember my Sun-Times column from a month or so ago when I wrote about how Blagojevich liked to play “Lifeboat”? That came up at trial yesterday as well

The exceptionally long recording of Dec. 4, 2008 continues with Rod Blagojevich explaining to Deputy Gov. Robert Greenlee and his pollster Fred Yang that Jesse Jackson Jr. and Lisa Madigan were “equally repugnant” to him personally.

“If they were both drowning and I could only save one, I really think I’d save Jesse,” Blagojevich is heard saying on tape. “From a personal standpoint, he’s less repugnant to me than she is.”

Old habits die hard, I suppose.

* Roundup…

* Blagojevich tells aide to hold up funding for Children’s hospital

* ‘The double-I thing’

* Blagojevich: “Bring on the White People!”

* Blago Couldn’t Get No Respect

* Prosecution could rest as soon as Tuesday

* Blagojevich trial: Prosecutors say they’ll rest their case Tuesday

* Rod Blagojevich on tape: “Only 13 percent of you think I’m doing a good job, so f— all of you.”

* Blagojevich wanted D.C. lobbying job for Patti a la Tom Daschle

* Patti Blagojevich on tape: “Hold up that f—ing Cubs s—. F— them.”

* Patti: Why do ‘anything for those (expletives)?’

* Jesse Jackson Jr. not talking about latest Blago testimony

* Blagojevich aide: If you appoint Jesse Jackson Jr. I’ll quit

* Rod saw Jackson Jr. and Lisa Madigan as ‘repugnant picks’

* Rod considered Senate seat for himself, lobbying job for Patti

* Former Copley owner emerges in Blagojevich trial

* Obama-Blagojevich agreement: I’ll invite you to my Election Day rally ONLY if you don’t show

* Testimony: Blagojevich wasn’t wanted at Obama victory rally

* Blago thought career ‘terminally wounded’ by Obama’s rise

* Obama Staff to Blagojevich: “WTF?”

* Obama and the Chicago Machine

* Blagojevich trial: Onetime deputy governor takes the stand

* Former deputy governor: Blagojevich hid in bathroom from budget director, was in the office 2-8 hours a week

* Aide: Blago rarely in office, sometimes hid in bathroom

* Blagojevich often MIA, aides say

* Senate search team ‘a sham’

* Former deputy governor: Blagojevich sought my advice on Senate seat

* Zorn: Blago the ‘bully’ puts the squeeze on for more than just lunch money

posted by Rich Miller
Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 10:44 am


  1. Rich, you have not been subpoened by the Blago defense yet, right? Maybe now that CapFax has surfaced in the Blago tapes, it’s time for a long vacation out of town. ;-)

    Comment by Team America Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 10:50 am

  2. Thanks Rich. I clearly remember getting all my great suggestions pulled down by you during this time, and it looks like our Governor could have really used my advice at the time!

    I could’a been a Senator!

    Comment by VanillaMan Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 10:55 am

  3. What, no discussion of our friend Bill? :-)

    Comment by Secret Square Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 10:58 am

  4. If having a potty mouth or being stupid were crimes, Blago would get consecutive life sentences followed by execution by firing squad.

    But when it comes to actual crime (and I know this won’t be a popular opinion here), I have to say the government’s case has been a lot weaker than I expected. A lot of the tapes I’ve heard sound no different than the political sausage making that goes on every hour in this state. And I do think the feds jumped the gun on arresting Blago on the senate seat deal.

    That said, I would acknowledge that the feds have no doubt successfully proven their case that federal crimes have been committed, after much focus and work on Blago. I have no doubt he’ll be convicted on at least some counts.

    It’s just too bad not every politico in this state gets the same fed scrutiny. If that happened many more would be in big trouble.

    Comment by just sayin' Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 10:59 am

  5. Schakowsky’s people were flooding the voting and you deleted the post because it was tainted if I remember correctly.

    Comment by Bring Back Boone's Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:01 am

  6. Good morning Governor. I hope you have someone still reading comments to you these days. I just wanted to say f— you too.

    Looking forward to hearing you on the stand next week. Say hi to Patty for me.

    Comment by 47th Ward Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:02 am

  7. I would really like to know what Blagojevich thought about Bill’s posts. They were brilliant!

    Comment by VanillaMan Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:02 am

  8. Add this to Life’s Little Rule Book: Never get into a lifeboat with Blago.

    Comment by Aldyth Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:05 am

  9. Did anyone else laugh at the Blago’s “Oh look, Faith Hill” comment in the middle of the transcript to his wife

    Comment by Frank Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:12 am

  10. Rich - I actually was surprised by the (SUPER long) transcript on December 4th between Blago and Fred Yang.

    It sounds like, somehow, they were actually believing they could pull off the Madigan deal. He kept repeating that the Madigan plan was option 1, and JJJ was option 2. And that they would keep elevating JJJ so they could get everybody to freak out and make the Madigan deal happen.

    However, he seemed to be so conflicted - and you can see just how tempting the JJJ deal was to him.

    For a man who was having conversations (that same day, remember) about Lon laying it on thick to Johnston, it makes sense that campaign funds were on his mind.

    Comment by George Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:16 am

  11. Frank - I did. LOL

    Comment by Anonymous ZZZ Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:17 am

  12. Unbelievable!!! These transcripts paint a clear picture of a mentally unstable individual who only has fleeting moments of lucid thought. What adult hides in a bathroom to avoid having to make decisions they were elected to make? And then apparently finds some sort of enjoyment in having that revealed to the public?
    If I were Blago’s lawyers I would start thinking about an insanity defense and use the tapes as proof.

    Comment by Irish Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:22 am

  13. @Irish:

    I would have gone with the insanity defense from the beginning!!!

    Comment by RJW Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:29 am

  14. Irish - Good point. Where exactly does the defense go now? What witnesses do they call?

    If the direction is “Oh that was just Rod being Rod and running his mouth; he didn’t mean any of it,” the tapes and prosecution witnesses pretty much popped that balloon. At least to me.

    If the direction is “His advisers and legal team told him everything he was doing was legal so you can’t hold him accountable” that seems pretty lame too.

    Hard to figure where this is headed next but I can’t wait to find out.

    Comment by And I Approved This Message Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:32 am

  15. Thanks for the flashback link Rich. We all know there are people in our world who pretend not to read this blog or that they have other sources of information. You should know, that’s mostly not true of course.

    I’ve finally admitted to myself that I actually do enjoy saying “I told you so,” here’s what I posted on that day:

    “The Huff Po can go get bent!

    You didn’t ask us who we wanted, you asked us who we thought G-Rod would appoint.

    I was one of those faces in Grant Park and sure I’d love to see him find a suitable replacement to Barack - but honestly this Governor is only capable of using power to better his own interests. Instead of ripping on the knowledgeable cap fax commenters, HuffPO should do some real reporting and wake up and smell the Blago coffee. The only thing that matters to him is him! “

    Comment by siriusly Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:36 am

  16. Seriously, Blago was deciding who to appoint to the U.S. Senate by relying upon anonymous posts on a blog? No offense to Rich and my fellow commenters, but that is about the most irresponsible thing I’ve heard of in government.

    Then again, Quinn governs by reading the Tribune editorial page.

    Comment by phocion Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:44 am

  17. Seriously, Blago was deciding who to appoint to the U.S. Senate by relying upon anonymous posts on a blog?

    Don’t you wish you had taken your posts a little bit more seriously now? Talk about access!


    Comment by George Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 11:48 am

  18. Where does the defense go?

    They knew what was coming from the beginning. They had heard the tapes. They were throwing up a smokescreen for a particularly guilty client before, and that’s all they can do now. They’ve never had a legitimate place to go.

    That’s why they’ve been talking about the planet Endor.

    Comment by Anonymous Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 12:00 pm

  19. While we love to wade through all this stuff Can anyone provide the “Session #” (BTW I love the term cause it sounds like Blagoof talked to his shrink) for Patti F bombing the Trib…I know someone who wants to make their ring tone.

    Comment by CircularFiringSquad Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 12:05 pm

  20. ===Quinn governs by reading the Tribune editorial page. ===

    Um, no.

    Comment by Rich Miller Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 12:12 pm

  21. seeing how nuts blago really is, what is the vegas line on him making a run for it to argentina or somewhere even more bizarre, al la whitey bulger

    Comment by nuts Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 12:38 pm

  22. nuts,

    Remember, RB “reads” this blog - please don’t give him any ideas. On the other hand, with that hair, where could he hide?

    Comment by dupage dan Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 1:27 pm

  23. ==Did anyone else laugh at the Blago’s “Oh look, Faith Hill” comment in the middle of the transcript to his wife==

    I didn’t laugh, but I confess that I looked around. Mt. 5:28

    Comment by Pat Robertson Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 1:53 pm

  24. In all fairness, lots of people hide from John Filan. But was that a toilet flushing on a call on his brother’s cell phone?

    Comment by Atticus Finch Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 2:08 pm

  25. Blago may have been hiding while in office but it is the WH which is hiding now- Tom Balanoff had no reason to fabricate his testimony as to what he discussed with President- elect Obama - so now we know the internal investigation the administration put forth was at best incomplete-and at worst intentionally false- the WH better hope they retain both houses in November since the only way to find out what really happened is under oath which is what will happen through congressional hearings-

    Comment by Sue Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 2:10 pm

  26. Oh, please, Sue. Nobody, but nobody, has said that anybody has done anything wrong. Calm down. Blago won’t save you.

    Comment by Rich Miller Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 2:13 pm

  27. ==Did anyone else laugh at the Blago’s “Oh look, Faith Hill” comment in the middle of the transcript to his wife==

    I did, and all this time I thought it was a kitty.

    Comment by Way Way Down Here Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 2:49 pm

  28. but his staff told me that they often read it to him or printed it out for him.

    How very cool would it have been to had on tape, GRod saying “There does that bleepin’ (your posting name here) AGAIN! I hate that guy.

    Would have made my year if it had been me :)

    Comment by Pat Collins Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 3:21 pm

  29. @Sue I all depends on that FBI interview which the defense (anyone else?) has not been allowed to see, doesn’t it? Gosh, that column, especially the last paragraph, was well done, and poignant, Rich. I don’t know, have you ever known a high ranking pol who wasn’t all about themselves, even when they were trying to do something positive for another? Doesn’t it go with the territory? Doesn’t it HAVE to go with the territory to achieve any height, unfortunately?

    Comment by justsickofit Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 4:08 pm

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