Blagojevich Did Not Seek Favors Emanuel Te
Blagojevich Did Not Seek
Favors Emanuel Testifies At
blagojevich did not seek favors emanuel
Retrial testifies at retrial Google Search
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 8:32 AM
CHICAGO — Testifying in the retrial of former Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois
may not have been high on the list of ways Rahm Emanuel hoped to spend his
second week in office as mayor.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich jumps over a puddle as he makes his way into
federal court to resume his corruption re-trial on Wednesday.
But Mr. Emanuel smirked and chuckled through the less than 10 minutes he spent
on the witness stand, introducing himself to jurors and giving one-word answers.
He indicated that Mr. Blagojevich had not solicited any favors from him related to
the United States Senate seat vacated by President Obama or in connection with
state funds for a school in the Congressional district that Mr. Emanuel represented
until joining Mr. Obama’s cabinet.
The brief testimony was in keeping with the tone of a retrial that has been greatly
scaled-down from the first trial last summer, which resulted in a hung jury on all but
Two and a half years after Mr. Blagojevich was first accused of trying to sell the
Senate seat for campaign donations or job offers, public interest in the trial has
largely waned. However, spectators lined up outside court in the early hours of a
cold, stormy morning Wednesday, perhaps intrigued more by the appearance of
the new mayor than by the former governor.
Prosecutors allege that Mr. Blagojevich wanted Mr. Emanuel to help start a
nonprofit organization that Mr. Blagojevich would head, in exchange for his naming
Valerie Jarrett, Mr. Obama’s friend and adviser, to the Senate seat. When asked
on the stand if Mr. Blagojevich asked him about starting such an organization, Mr.
Emanuel said no.
Mr. Emanuel said that he did recommend Ms. Jarrett for the Senate seat, and that
he had sought state funds for a school on the city’s Northwest Side. But he denied
Mr. Blagojevich had offered anything in return.
Defense lawyers were limited in what they could ask the mayor because of rulings
by Judge James Zagel, who had ordered prosecutors to remove extra “beads and
bangles” from their case.
Prosecutors argued Wednesday morning that testimony by Mr. Emanuel and the
morning’s other high-profile witness, Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., Democrat
of Illinois, was largely irrelevant since their case did not hinge on whether the
alleged targets of bribery solicitations were aware of Mr. Blagojevich’s intentions.
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“The governor never said anything of a criminal nature to Mr. Emanuel,” Sheldon