Rahm Emanuel Testifies in Blagojevich Retrial
The defense called Rahm Emanuel today in the retrial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Emanuel was on the stand for 3 minutes.
In quick fashion, Sorosky asked Emanuel if anyone had ever asked him when he was congressman in 2006 to have his brother arrange a fundraiser for the governor in exchange for release of a $2 million grant to a school in Emanuel’s congressional district.
"No,” Emanuel said curtly. The mayor also said “no” when questioned if he had ever been asked to set up a nonprofit for Blagojevich to run in exchange for a appointing Obama friend Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate.
Jesse Jackson, Jr. also testified as a defense witness today. [More...]
He denied offering Blago money in exchange for the Senate seat. He said he wasn't even on speaking terms with him at the time. He also testified:
“I never directed anyone to raise money for another politician in my life, other than myself, in 16 years.”
But prosecutors had a few questions for Jackson that may have hurt Blagojevich, concerning Jackson's refusal to contribute $25k to Blago while his wife was under consideration for a position in Blago's administration. She didn't get the job, and Jackson said Blago later said to him:
In classic Elvis Presley fashion, he snapped his fingers and said, ‘You should have given me that $25,000,’ “ Jackson testified....It became clear to me the governor of the state of Illinois was trading...” Jackson said until he was interrupted by an objection from Blagojevich’s attorney.
This retrial has not been going well for Blago. No more witnesses today. Instead the court will deal with legal issues, such as which tapes Blago will be allowed to introduce to the jury. Is he going to testify? Sounds like it. He only has to convince one juror to avoid a conviction. Can he do it? Did a stealth juror make it on the jury?
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