Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blago Trial Witness: Money, Senate seat linked

Tribune. Rahm made a call.


One of the oddest ruminations expressed by Blagojevich on the Nov. 3, 2008, wiretap played in court was his suggestion, admittedly wild, that he might wangle an appointment to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations out of Barack Obama if he picked Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett to fill the soon-to-be president’s seat in the U.S. Senate.

“Whatever cabinet position would be not stupid?” Blagojevich asked John Harris, his chief of staff. “How about UN ambassador?” Which prompted Harris to say: “I don’t think that’s realistic.”
The mind boggles. But come on, you know he'd fit right in.

More. BlagoBlog:

"So what do you think I can get for the senate seat?" Harris said the governor asked

"What do you mean, for you?" Harris asked. "You can get a new ally or reward an ally, that's what you can get."

Blagojevich then looked away and was quiet, Harris testified.

But that wasn't the last of it, Harris said, describing two more conversations with the governor about what he could get for the appointment.

At one point, the conversation turned to cash. Blagojevich wondered how much he could get for the seat from several interested parties, including Blair Hull.

"I told him, 'You can't get money for the senate seat. You shouldn't even consider that as an option.' And we moved on," Harris testified.

And in mid-October, Blagojevich, Harris and the governor's attorney, Bill Quinlan, were again discussing senate seat possibilities.

Blagojevich brought up how he might profit off the appointment, perhaps by putting "money into a 501 C (3)."

Harris said Quinlan became stern with Blagojevich.

"You can't ever joke like that. You can't talk like that," Harris said Quinlan told him. "You know, whether you're serious or not, don't say things like that."

About an hour into today's testimony and there has not been a single objection from the defense.
And this. Dave who (I think that's pretty funny. I hope Axelrod is steamed) :

Prosecutors play their first secret recording of the day and it's John Harris relaying what Rahm Emanuel told him in a call the day before. He's talking to Rod Blagojevich about Emanuel conveying Barack Obama's interest in having Valerie Jarrett appointed to the senate seat.

"Should I have Barack call Rod?" Harris said Rahm asked him.

Harris said it would help, and he's heard laughing.

Harris: "You may get a call from him or Dave."

Blagojevich: "Dave who?"

Harris: "Axelrod."

Harris says he believes Obama to be serious about the appointment.

"(Obama) wouldn't leave it to osmosis or the media. He very much cares about this. It's his definite desire for Valerie," Harris says.

Blagojevich sounds almost gleeful at the thought.

Pretty damning testimony today. And the president can't like this.


Quite Rightly said...

Curiouser and curiouser.

Linked at Bread upon the Waters.

Anne said...

Yes. I am not a lawyer but this looks bad for Blago.

I doubt Obama will get pulled in.

At least not with this trial.

It seems to me Fitzgerald called a halt and arrested Blago before it could hit the White House hard.