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Summer of Corruption: Blago Verdict Watch, Day 13
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The deadlocked Blago jury took a long weekend off — and returned to deliberations with another transcript request for the federal trial judge.

Looks like they’re zeroing in on the attempted extortion of then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel, whose brother Blago wanted to host a fund-raiser in exchange for a $2 million football field grant sought by a school in Emanuel’s congressional district.

Via the Chicago Sun Times:

As Judge James Zagel described it, the jury’s question was “less than earth-shattering.”

The jurors asked for the transcript of deputy governor Bradley Tusk’s testimony in its entirety. Zagel has agreed to provide it.

Tusk’s testimony centered on a charge involving the alleged attempted extortion of Rahm Emanuel, then a congressman. That charge is count 14 — and not directly among the 11 wire fraud counts that the panel presumably was going back and deliberating after revealing Thursday they hadn’t come to a conclusion on those counts.

However, the Emanuel scheme is included in three other, broader counts, including count one: racketeering; count two: racketeering conspiracy and count three: wire fraud scheme.

Count three is a long, cumbersome charge that includes an overview of all the major schemes in the case but it is charged as a wire fraud.

In his testimony, Bradley Tusk, a onetime aide to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said that while he was deputy governor of Illinois, Blagojevich told him he wanted a message delivered to then-U.S. Rep. Emanuel: A $2 million grant for the Chicago Academy, a school in Emanuel’s district, was on hold unless his brother, Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, held a fund-raiser.

Ari is the inspiration for the “Entourage” character, Ari Gold.

Tusk said he didn’t deliver the message but called Blagojevich’s lawyer, Bill Quinlan, and told him: “You need to get your client under control.”

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Corruption