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Blagojevich ends Day 2 of testimony

May 27, 2011 at 2:59 PM   |   Comments

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CHICAGO, May 27 (UPI) -- Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Friday wrapped up a second day of testimony on the stand at his federal corruption retrial in Chicago.

During at-times rambling testimony, witnessed by his 14-year-old daughter in the courtroom, the disgraced former governor sought to convince the jury his words caught on government wiretaps were just talk and nothing more, the Chicago Tribune said.

Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed from office in January 2009, denied he ever tried to shakedown Maywood Park racetrack owner John Johnson for a $100,000 campaign contribution in return for signing a bill shifting casino revenues to financially ailing racetracks.

At one point, Blagojevich spoke about one of his fundraisers, Chris Kelly, who unexpectedly called him and began talking about a presidential pardon after Kelly had been indicted for tax fraud.

"I was very aware that the ladies and gentlemen at that (prosecution) table were investigating me," he said.

Blagojevich was expected to be back on the stand for cross-examination when the trial resumes after the Memorial Day holiday. He was convicted of lying to FBI agents at his first trial last year.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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