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.”