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Blagojevich Did Not Seek Favors Emanuel Testifies at Retrial


                                                                                                                        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

                               one count.

                               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.

                                                                                                 Generated by at 5/26/2011 7:01:01 AM
                               “The governor never said anything of a criminal nature to Mr. Emanuel,” Sheldon

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