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Tag: Senate seat

Prosecution Expected to Rest in Blago Retrial: Blago May Testify

Ex-Gov on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Well, that was quick.

After just 2 1/2 weeks of testimony, the prosecution in the federal retrial of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected to rest its case on Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The first trial took 11 weeks, most of which was taken up by the prosecution presenting it case centering on bribery allegations and Blago’s alleged attempt to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

Speculation continued this week as to whether the  ever-chatty Blago will testify on his own behalf, the Sun-Timengs reported.  He did not testify in the first trial in which the jury convicted him on only 1 of 24 counts, and that was for lying to the FBI.

The defense has indicated it might also call as witnesses Jesse Jackson Jr. and newly minted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

To read more click here.

Gov. Blago Camp Was Told Jesse Jackson Jr. Would Raise $5 Million If He Got Senate Seat

The FBI is interested in him, and Jesse Jackson has, as Ricky Ricardo would say “some splainin to do!”. This case is only going to get bigger. Stay tuned.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

BY NATASHA KORECKI
Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s camp was told last year that U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) would raise up to $5 million in campaign cash for the ex-governor if he was appointed to President Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

The overture came from at least two members of the local Indian community who approached the Blagojevich fund-raising team last fall, sources say.

Besides the $5 million to be raised by Jackson, the proposal also included another $1 million for Blagojevich’s campaign fund that would come from Indian donors, sources say.

This is the first revelation that a proposal for the Jackson appointment involved an alleged promise that he’d raise campaign cash for the ex-governor.

Also, the amount of money allegedly offered to Blagojevich is significantly higher than what’s been reported so far.

For Full Story

Blagojevich to be Arraigned Today (AP)

UPDATE: Blago Pleads Not Guilty (Chicago Tribune)

Gov. Blagojevich Shows His Chutzpah: Defies Everyone and Fills Senate Seat

Roland Burris

Roland Burris

By Jon Perkins
ticklethewire.com

Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, defying conventional political wisdom — not to mention U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his own state Democratic Party — appointed a former longtime Illinois state official to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
The appointment of former state comptroller and former state attorney general Roland W. Burris, 71, who is currently a lobbyist, is almost certain to end up in both state and federal courts. Illinois Secretary of State Jessie White has vowed not to certify the governor’s selection. Reid and Senate Democrats — including Dick Durbin, Illinois’ senior senator, have vowed not to seat Burris or any other candidate appointed by Blagojevich.
That means a showdown is virtually certain, raising doubts whether Burris will ever fill the Senate seat.
At an extraordinary Chicago news conference, Blagojevich, who faces federal corruption charges for allegedly trying to auction the Senate seat to the highest bidder, said he is making the appointment because Illinois is “entitled to two U.S. senators.” Blagojevich said that he selected Burris when the legislature failed to move on an alternative appointment process after
he was arrested on a criminal complaint Dec. 9.
“The law requires that the governor make this appointment,” he said.
Blagojevich praised Burris and asked that the “appointee be separated from the appointer.”
“This is about Roland Burris, not about the governor who appointed him.”
Burris, who reportedly has donated about $20,000 to Blagojevich’s campaigns, and whose law and lobbying firms reportedly have had contracts with the state government, declined to comment on his legal woes. Burris also denied having any connection to Blagojevich’s legal woes.
In Washington, Reid issued a statement before the Blagojevich-Burris news conference making clear where Senate Democrats stand.

Read more »