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Inherit The Windbag: Day 5, Testify!

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jun 10, 2010 2:00PM

Day Five of the Blagojevich trial saw the beginning of witness testimony against the former governor. First up, FBI Agent Daniel Cain explained the process behind bugging Blagojevich and others. The investigation began, according to Cain, after someone filed a report about extortion for a state board appointment, which led to Rezko, and then more information came in from lobbyist John Wyma. The Tribune's Bob Secter called Cain, "cool and deliberate and unassuming," as he methodically described the ins-and-outs of the process of monitoring 8 different phones and two bugs between October 22, 2008 and December 9, 2008. Of the 5,000 calls the FBI monitored, Cain said around 1,100 were relevant to the case. Aaron Goldstein cross-examined Cain, focusing on how the FBI must stop monitoring conversations that have no relevance to the case, emphasizing that investigators might have missed some piece of conversation that could have helped exonerate Blagojevich.

But the main event was testimony from former Blagojevich chief-of-staff and former friend Alonzo “Lon” Monk. Describing how he, Blagojevich, Christopher Kelly, and Tony Rezko planned to take advantage of Blago's office, the crew, who went by code names "1, 2, 3, and 4" hoped to pocket "hundreds of thousands of dollars." Monk described Rezko as the main brain behind the plan, holding meetings on which he presented ideas for how the group could make money. Part of the inspiration behind the plans was that the crew wanted Blagojevich, who was apparently facing some financial problems, to be set as he prepared for a potential run at the Presidency in 2008. Monk also made the trial's first mention of Rahm Emanuel and talked of kickbacks received from a 2003 deal having to do with $10 billion in bonds.

There was plenty more that Monk testified about but the Sun-Times Natasha Korecki breaks down what was good for each side from yesterday's testimony. And there will be lots more of that to come today as Monk will once again take the stand to continue his testimony, which could involve the horse track lobbying as well as the first playing of the FBI's wiretap tapes.