The first tapes made from wiretaps on the phones of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his associates were played yesterday in Blago’s corruption trial in Chicago federal court.
The tapes paint the former governor as desperate for campaign funds.
In one tape, Blagojevich can be heard telling his brother, Rob, to hit up everyone he can for donations, hoping to reach a $4 million campaign goal.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Blago tells Rob to keep calling people. He tells his brother to ask potential donors, “Can you send us $5,000, can you find us whatever, follow me?”
The Sun-Times describes Blago’s voice in the tapes as “snapping” and “irritated,” and describes his brother as “almost alarmist telling his brother that everyone’s pulling back on donations.” The Chicago Tribune describes Blago’s voice as “agitated.”
The tapes were played during the testimony of Lon Monk, Blago’s former chief of staff and close friend who is testifying against him. They won’t be publicly available until after the defense has a chance to cross-examine on the tapes.
The trial is off today and will re-convene Monday. Rob Blagojevich is also on trial for his role in the alleged shakedown attempts.