Obama’s Name Surfaces in Rezko Trial

By Justin Rood

Mar 6, 2008 3:13pm

That didn’t take long.

Barack Obama’s name just surfaced in today’s opening arguments of the federal corruption trial of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, according to our ace reporter Melissa Murphy, who’s at the trial.

Joe Duffy, a lawyer for Rezko, told jurors that his client met Obama when the presidential aspirant was a Harvard Law student, and that he tried to hire him to be general counsel for his construction company, an offer Obama apparently turned down.

Rezko supported many politicians, Duffy explained, as he laid out his argument against the government’s laundry list of corruption charges.

Obama has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the Rezko case, but his ties to the man facing a laundry list of corruption charges have caused turbulence for his campaign.

Obama has returned nearly $150,000 in political contributions from Rezko and his associates, and has tried to minimize the impact of an questionable real estate purchase he completed with the assistance of Rezko. Obama has called the deal, in which Rezko purchased an adjoining lot that helped Obama buy his current Chicago-area home, "boneheaded."

Melissa Murphy contributed to this report.

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