I started this last week and just haven’t posted it –
I got to the Blagojevich trial today and heard Lon Monk’s cross examination. Monk was Rod’s law school roommate at Pepperdine and then when he ran for governor, Rod gave the job of campaign manager to Monk because he trusted him. Now Monk was an entertainment lawyer in California and was far from the soup line, but this job led to increasingly good money and power.
Boy, what a $#@%. He stated he took $70 – 90K from Tony Retzko and, of course, didn’t report the cash to anyone, not the IRS nor his long time pal, Rod Blagojevich.
There was a lot of parrying back and forth as the defense tried to prove that Monk shook down contributors for Friends of Blagojevich, but the stronger story was how a friend, the rich boy who was doing fine, capitalized on his friendship with the working class law school roommate and betrayed him when that was convenient.
May 18, 2011
I got the 7:05 am train downtown, but was too late to get one of the 16 tickets reserved for the public. Previously, this time around they gave out 35 and even if you arrived at 8:55 am you’d get in. I heard people came at 6 am.
So I listened to Jesse Jackson Jr and Rahm Emmanuel testify from the overflow room. Elizabeth Brackett’s report sums up the day well, I think. I’d add that this was a day consisting of lots of waiting. They didn’t get started till after 10 am and then their 11:20 or so recess went on and on so they announced a lunch break till 2 pm, I waited till 2:45 pm and still they hadn’t started so I left for home. When you’re in the overflow room you have no idea what’s going on. You do hear a lot more than you get from the news, but today there just wasn’t much to hear.
I wished I had seen Jesse Jr’s facial expressions. It seemed like he was very matter of fact when the defense questioned him, then he let out a theatrical zinger during cross. The government attorney asked him about his wife’s attempt to get a job in the Blagojevich administration. She didn’t get it and later when Jesse Jr. met Rod in DC they agreed that “bygones should be bygones.” With some drama, the 5th District Congressman then alleged that Rod walked off and snapped his fingers like Elvis with a “you shoudda given me the $25,000″ referring to fundraising that Jackson didn’t provide. It was damaging, but I guess can be spun.