Jurors hear secret Blagojevich tape

CHICAGO, May 10 (UPI) -- Jurors in Rod Blagojevich's retrial Tuesday heard an FBI tape of him describing a U.S. Senate seat he allegedly tried to sell or trade as "expletive golden."

In a second corruption trial of the former Illinois governor, Blagojevich, 54, is accused of trying to parlay an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President Barack Obama for campaign cash or personal gain.


On the tape, secretly recorded Nov. 5, 2008, the day after Obama was elected president, Blagojevich can be heard telling Doug Scofield, a former adviser, his desire to exploit the political plum, WLS-TV, Chicago reported Tuesday

"I mean I got this thing and it is [expletive] golden," Blagojevich is heard saying. "And, I'm just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I'm not gonna do it. I can always use it and parachute me in there."

After a court session Monday, as prosecutors introduced a streamlined case centering on the alleged plot to sell the vacant Senate seat, Blagojevich's wife Patti complained when U.S. District Judge James Zagel spent much of the day blocking witnesses from answering many of the defense lawyers' questions, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.


Zagel called the questions a back-door attempt by Blagojevich's lawyers to violate his previous orders regarding defense tactics.

"I almost want to cry," Patti Blagojevich said after court. "I'm no lawyer, but I thought the whole idea of this was to get the truth to come out, and that's clearly not what's happening here."

Zagel warned defense attorney Aaron Goldstein after the lawyer asked union leader Tom Balanoff if he went to authorities after his exchange with Blagojevich about the Senate seat.

Zagel said Goldstein's line of questioning was attempting to improperly introduce a "with the advice of counsel" defense to jurors, and ordered Goldstein to stop.

Zagel reprimanded Goldstein again Tuesday after prosecutors objected to his manner of cross-examining Scofield.

"There is a way to make your point, but not in this manner," Zagel told Goldstein.

Latest Headlines