No twitter reception this morning in Blagojevich courtroom.
Here is a recap so far: The courtroom was packed. Rod is wearing a navy pinstripe suit. Looks paler than usual. Been alternating wringing his hands and clenching his jaw during proceedings. Patti is seated between her brother Rich who often has his arm around her and her sister Deb Mell. She is dressed in a grey pinstripe jacket and white top. She looks paler than when I last saw her and seems serious.
This morning the Government and Defense both stated their cases- pretty much the same as has been reported in the recent court filings. The Defense says Blagojevich didn't take anything, that he relied on his advisors and that indeed Childrens got their legislation and the racetrack passed their legislation. The Prosecution said "It is not an issue how much money was involved- the issue is what he wanted to obtain"
They stressed that Blagojevich was the only one who stood to benefit- not his aides.
Judge Zagel made a few points:
- that Blagojevich's failure to complete an offense does not necessarily lessen his culpability -"The Governor of Illinois had the power to inflict penalties on those who did not pay -The recorded voice of the Defendant mentions $1.5 million - speaks only of this amount- that was the benefit he had in mind. In a very real sense that is what he said. The demand might have been more "the valuation is based on his words" - Talking about appointing Lisa Madigan- that was one of the few moves available to him that was legal -His first choice was to appoint himself -"My conclusion is consistent with the jury" -The defendant should be increased not by 10 levels bit by 16" -"30 years to life is not appropriate in the context of this case" -the testimony by Defense that he was intimidated and his staff should have stopped him Zagel said,"Based on the tapes he is not an easy man to stop" -that Blagojevich was repetitive, his tone of voice was demanding, the goals came from him, it is absurd to contend that his staff and advisors told him what to do -his advisors got no cut or reward- it was all for himself.
There was one witness for the Defense: a pediatrician who spoke about the All Kids Program