Blagojevich Prosecution Heats Up
This is a discussion on Blagojevich Prosecution Heats Up within the Law News forum, part of the FORUM INFORMATION category; Ever since former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was indicted in early April on corruption charges we have waited patiently for ...
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|Jul 9th, 2009, 08:50 AM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Blagojevich Prosecution Heats Up
Ever since former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was indicted in early April on corruption charges we have waited patiently for news in the case. Wait no longer: A few fresh details surfaced yesterday.
To recap, the former governor has been accused of trying to auction off President Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat. Blago, who was impeached in January, has said he did nothing wrong and would fight any changes
John Harris, Blago’s former chief of staff, pleaded guilty to corruption charges yesterday and formally agreed to testify against his former boss.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the plea agreement goes into detail on how Blagojevich and his advisers allegedly strategized to parlay the vacant senate seat to Blago’s benefit.
The plea alleges that Blagojevich sent Harris to the Illinois legislature to see if one Senate candidate would be willing to exchange all the money in his campaign fund for the U.S. Senate seat, although Harris did not explicitly deliver that message, the Trib reports.
“I have never met a person who is going to be a better witness than John Harris,” his attorney, Terry Ekl said.
The former governor, according to the plea, also talked to an officer at the Service Employees International Union about Blago’s chances of landing a position in the Obama administration if he appointed the president’s close adviser, Valerie Jarrett, to the senate.
In other Blago news, the Trib offers some new details on the allegations that the former governor pressured the University of Illinois law school to admit an unqualified applicant with financial ties to the former governor. (Here’s a Law Blog backgrounder on the scandal.)
Gov. Pat Quinn has convened a commission to investigate the situation, and has tapped retired judge Abner Mikva to chair it.
Yesterday, Heidi Hurd, the former dean of the law school, testified to the commission that she felt “enraged” when Illinois Chancellor Richard Herman ordered her to accept a student backed by the governor and then tried to appease her by offering to secure five jobs for law school graduates, the Trib reports.
“I was incensed because we had just been steamrolled by what I felt to be an abuse of an official office,” Hurd said. “I took it to be the case that there had been a top-down gubernatorial fiat.”
Previously, Herman has declined to comment. “In the future, I expect to be talking to the Mikva commission and I believe I owe them my first public statement on these matters,” he has said.
|Jul 9th, 2009, 01:55 PM||#2|
Re: Blagojevich Prosecution Heats Up
Blago can only wish he had a defense attorney like Perry Mason, who never lost a case. The fact is that we donít know what Patrick Fitzgerald knows, period. We will know it when the trial begins and not a minute before. Hold on people, itís gonna be an E-ticket ride.
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