Prosecutor Reid Schar began his rebuttal argument saying that Rod Blagojevich did make decisions and took action over and over again -- despite the defense saying that Blagojevich never made any decisions.
For instance, Schar said Blagojevich decided not to sign the race track bill.
In his rebuttal, Schar talked about the Senate seat and how Blagojevich said union leader Tom Balanoff was the "channel" open to him regarding deals for the Senate seat.
Schar said David Axelrod was not mentioned as a channel until Blagojevich's direct examination. Schar said Blagojevich is “making it up as he does.” (The defense objected and the judge sustained.)
Schar said the witnesses in this case "told it like it is" and that Blagojevich is making it up as he goes along, despite Blagojevich saying he thought it was legal to make a deal for the Senate seat. Schar says that’s not a defense.
Blagojevich tried to claim a "good faith" defense, Schar said, claiming that he didn’t know it was illegal to make a deal for the Senate seat.
Schar argued that Blagojevich does what he wants to do, and pointed out how Blagojevich overrode objections from his attorneys when testifying and kept answering Schar’s questions.
Schar reminded the jury that Blagojevich is an attorney, so he knows when he should answer questions and when not to. This is not a game, he said.
Schar said you can’t trade state business for free bar drinks, but somehow Blagojevich thought he could trade it for other things.
Schar talked about the 501(c4) and told the jury to go back and look at calls with Doug Scofield. He argued that although Blagojevich said the 501(c4) was for Valerie Jarrett to be appointed to the Senate seat is “unsaid,” the calls make it clear that it is.
Schar questioned how the defense could say the handling of the Chicago Academy school grant was above board when Blagojevich was using both John Wyma and Scofiled to get messages to Rahm Emanuel.
Schar talked about Jesse Jackson Jr. and a Dec. 2004 call in which Blagojevich talked to his brother Robert about how he wanted to talk to him about his upcoming meeting with Raghuveer Nayak. Blagojevich wanted Robert to tell Nayak they needed to see some of the tangible political support upfront, Schar said.
Schar talked about how the defense said Blagojevich was "never ever” going to appt Jackson Jr. to the Senate seat, but to tell Jackson Jr. that he wanted all this stuff and support now -- even though legislature was not in session. Blagojevich still wanted the Lisa Madigan deal, Schar said.
The defense said that Lisa Madigan was just a stalking horse, Schar said. He said he doesn’t dispute that Blagojevich became more interested in her after Valerie Jarrett took the White House cabinet position.
Schar said the Kelly pardon idea the defense put on argued that Blagojevich didn’t want to sign the race track bill because he thought it might be contaminated by Kelly after Kelly called him about it on Nov. 27, 2008. But, Schar argued, he didn’t reach that conclusion until Dec. 4.
Schar said that when Blagojevich found out Wyma might have been wearing a wire, he wondered if he needed to be concerned about Magoon.
Regarding the school grant shake down, Schar said the defense argued they didn’t know why the grant was held up. Schar said the jury just needs to decide if Blagojevich told Bradley Tusk to send a message that it was being held up until a fundraiser could be held for Blagojevich. Schar argued that Tusk has no motivation to lie to the jury about that call. (The defense tried to object about this statement. The judge sustained.)
Meantime, Schar argued that you have a convicted liar (Blagojevich) on the stand saying he didn’t tell Tusk to send that message to Rahm Emanuel. Schar added that Blagojevich then lied to the press and the public on the day he was convicted, because he wasn’t allowed a court reporter at his March 16, 2005, FBI interview.
Schar argued that Blagojevich lied "over and over again" to every one.
(Judge Zagel told Schar that he had 10 minutes left...)
Schar addressed the defense’s argument that their witnesses only said what Schar wanted them to say and lied to the jury to frame Blagojevich. He argued the defendant is framing himself because what he says on he stand is inconsistent with what he said in the recorded conversations.
Schar talked about how Blagojevich is the only one with motivated to lie, because in 2008 Blagojevich was cash-strapped..
Schar wrapped his rebuttal argument by telling the jury they are the only ones who can show Blagojevich what’s right and wrong, and that they “can’t abuse the public trust.”
"Your verdict will speak the truth,” he said. “And the truth is he is guilty."
(The judge began reading instructions to the jury.)
Rod Blagojevich Scandal: More Key Players
Visit the "Who's Who" page to learn more about the former Illinois governor , his co-defendants, inner circle, the legal team and what people like President Obama , Sen. Dick Durbin and other high-profile people have to do with the case.
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