Blagojevich trial jurors request Bradley Tusk testimony, August 16, 2010

Blagojevich trial jurors request Bradley Tusk testimony, August 16, 2010

From the Chicago Tribune August 16, 2010.

“On the 13th day of deliberations, jurors in the Rod Blagojevich corruption trial have made a new request of U.S. District Judge James Zagel: they want to see a transcript of the testimony of Bradley Tusk, a former deputy governor who spoke on the stand about what he perceived as an attempted shakedown of U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel.

Over the objections of a defense lawyer, Zagel said he would provide the transcript.
Tusk, who served Blagojevich from 2003 until 2006, testified that Blagojevich had promised a $2 million grant to an experimental Chicago school in Emanuel’s district, only to later hold its release hostage unless Emanuel leaned on his Hollywood talent agent brother, Ari, to hold a fundraiser for the governor. Tusk testified that he was so outraged by Blagojevich’s alleged tactic that he told Blagojevich’s general counsel, William Quinlan, to “get control of your client.””

“Jurors created a stir last week with a note to Zagel signaling they have been able to agree on only two of the 24 counts against Blagojevich and had not yet even considered 11 wire fraud counts.

Zagel told them to deliberate further and asked them to come to some decision about the wire fraud counts, even if it was only that they were split.

If they can’t agree, Zagel could accept a partial verdict and declare the jury hung on undecided charges. That could result in prosecutors retrying Blagojevich.”

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