Judicial Watch • Rod Blagojevich Trial

Rod Blagojevich Trial

Rod Blagojevich Trial

JUNE 25, 2010

The corruption trial of disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich continues Monday with more incriminating testimony from his top aide and Judicial Watch will be there to cover it live in the downtown Chicago federal courtroom where the scandal is unfolding.

So far the trial has proven to be a nightmare for President Obama who has been implicated in Blagojevich’s illegal scheme to sell his U.S. Senate seat. Blagojevich’s former chief of staff (John Harris) has testified that Obama knew of his boss’s plot to obtain a presidential cabinet position in exchange for appointing a candidate handpicked by the president.

In fact, according Harris’s court testimony, Obama sent Blagojevich a list of “acceptable” Senate candidates to fill his old seat. The list included Tammy Duckworth, Illinois State Comptroller Dan Hynes, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, according to Harris who also testified that three days after the 2008 presidential election Blagojevich told him he felt confident Obama wanted to swap perks.

Explosive federal wiretaps played at trail expose Blagojevich bargaining Obama’s Senate seat for a cabinet position. In one conversation, Blagojevich discusses with Harris ways to tell the president that he wants to be Secretary of Health and Human Services if Valerie Jarrett—Obama’s first choice to succeed him—gets the Senate position. If Health Secretary “was available to me I could do Valerie Jarrett in a heartbeat,” Blagojevich is heard saying, meaning he could appoint Jarrett to Obama’s old Illinois Senate seat.

The feds started recording Blagojevich because for years they gathered evidence that he sold the influence of his office, lucrative state jobs and contracts to the highest bidders. The animated politician with the trademark fluffy hair and loose tongue put a “for sale” sign on the naming of a United States Senator, according to federal prosecutors who call the breadth of corruption in the Blagojevich Administration staggering.

Judicial Watch has been investigating the massive corruption in the Blagojevich Administration for years. In 2006 Blagojevich refused a Judicial Watch public records request for subpoenas relating to the federal investigation of his crooked administration and in 2007 Judicial Watch filed an open records lawsuit in Cook County Court to obtain them. Last year Judicial Watch obtained public records that prove Obama and Blagojevich had repeated contact after Obama became president even though the White House has vehemently denied it.


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