Blagojevich Jury To Get Transcript of Deputy. Governor Tusk's Testimony

Update: No verdict today, the jurors have gone home.

The jury in the trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich today had another request for the Judge: It asked for the transcript of testimony of former Deputy Governor Bradly Tusk. Over defense objection, the Judge granted the request.

Tusk testified on June 21 about a conversation with Blagojevich regarding Rahm Emanuel. Rahm had called him about a grant for an athletic field at a school in Rahm's former Congressional district.

Tusk was inquiring about a $2 million grant that had been approved for a school and teaching academy in former Congressman Rahm Emanuel's district. The school, counting on the grant money, had begun building an athletic field but was unable to pay contractors because it had not been given the approved funds. Emanuel and others began pressuring Tusk who called Blagojevich late in the summer of 2006 to talk about the grant.

"He [Blagojevich] said before the money could be released he wanted Rahm's brother to hold a fundraiser," Tusk testified. ...Tusk said he believed Blagojevich was saying there would be no grant if there was no fundraiser and that Blagojevich wanted "that message delivered to Rahm Emanuel."

The details of are in Racketeering Act #2 in the Second Superseding Indictment, attempted extortion, and in Count 14, attempted extortion. Since this was in the summer of 2006, it does not affect the False Statement charge, which concerns statements Rod made to the FBI in March, 2005 (Count 24.)

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    uh oh! (none / 0) (#2)
    by marvc on Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 10:02:41 PM EST
    This doesn't sound good for Blago. Last week looked like he might just get off. Now it's looking like he's going down on at least some of these counts. A lot of folks thought last week that the fact that hey had reached a decision on two counts probably indicated they were going to acquit. Not it looks like maybe those two counts were for conviction and the rest is follow-up on how much more he deserves to go down for.

    I don't think so (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 11:50:09 PM EST
    I still think the counts agreed on were 1 and 2 (RICO) and were not guilty. I think they were split on the extortion/bribery, including count 14 last week, and today they got around to the wire fraud charges, and asked for this testimony.

    It's possible they are going to try to resolve their differences over count 14 at the same time they decide the wire fraud charge.

    If they decided there was no enterprise for RICO, they didn't have to resolve whether Rod committed Rack. Act 2. But they will have to resolve it for count 14 and the wire fraud charge, or else declare they can't agree on either.

    We don't know what the disagreement was as to count 14 (assuming there was one.) Which means we don't know if they asked for the transcript to convince someone who favored acquittal or conviction. It seems the testimony goes to both counts.

    In other words, if they found no enterprise, it doesn't matter whether he committed Rack. Act. #2, except in the context of whether he committed count 14, attempted extortion, or wire fraud. I don't think it changes their agreement on two counts last week, and it still seems to me they agreed not guilty on RICO.