Federal prosecutors hammered away Tuesday at the allegation that Rod Blagojevich schemed to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, playing an infamous recording of the ousted Illinois governor describing in expletive-laden detail what th
CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors hammered away Tuesday at the allegation that Rod Blagojevich schemed to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, playing an infamous recording of the ousted Illinois governor describing in expletive-laden detail what the seat could be worth to him.
Prosecutors have quickly focused on the Senate seat allegation, the most serious that Blagojevich faces at his political corruption retrial. Early prosecution witnesses have testified that Blagojevich was intent on securing campaign cash, or a Cabinet post or other high-paying, high-powered job in Washington, in exchange for appointing Obama’s preferred pick for the Senate seat.
"I’ve got this thing and it’s f—— golden," he said in a conversation with campaign consultant Doug Scofield, which was recorded by the FBI. "And I’m just not giving it up for f—— nothing. I’m not gonna do it."
The then-governor saw the Senate vacancy as "an opportunity that he could exchange his appointment for something for himself," said Scofield, who also briefly served as deputy governor.
In other recordings, Blagojevich continues his musings about what jobs he should aim for, including secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.N. ambassador and even, he jokes, "ambassador to Macedonia."
Earlier Tuesday, Blagojevich’s attorneys finished their cross-examination of union leader Tom Balanoff, a close Obama ally who met with Blagojevich about the Senate seat in the days before and after the 2008 election.
Blagojevich has denied any wrongdoing. His defense attorneys have maintained that the recorded talk about the Senate seat was just that — talk.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.