Caught on Tape: Blagojevich's Trial

Wiretap tapes haunt former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich at trial.

June 23, 2010, 4:39 PM

June 24, 2010— -- Outside a courthouse in Chicago today, chatty ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich couldn't resist his admirers. But inside, he faced a tougher crowd: federal prosecutors playing FBI wiretaps that they said show that he schemed to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat in 2008.

On the tapes, Blagojevich asked, "What [do you] honestly think I might get a shot at getting?"

The ex-governor asked top aide John Harris about trading the Senate seat for a Cabinet post in the Obama administration if he named Obama's choice,

On tape, Blagojevich suggested that Obama knew he wanted to make a deal.

"He's also been told now that I would do it if I got this," he said.

In return, Blagojevich told a top aide that he wants to be in Obama's Cabinet. Blagojevich goes on to ponder what Cabinet seat he would want in the Obama administration.

"How about Health and Human Services, can I get that?" he asked. "Whatever cabinet position would not be stupid. How about U.N ambassador? Ridiculous?"

Blagojevich didn't stop there.

He asked where he should serve as ambassador -- Germany, England, France, Canada?

The wiretaps played in court showed that the guessing game became a family affair, involving Blagojevich's wife, Patti.

"We think that ambassador to India is the best choice," she said.

Worried about how much an ambassadorship would pay, Patti eased her husband's concerns.

"I don't think it pays very much, but then you've got a house, right?" she said.

No Deal

Today, the jury heard Blagojevich after he got word that the president wouldn't deal.

"They're not willing to give me anything but appreciation ... 'F' them," he said.

The prosecution is building a case that Blagojevich, deep in debt from legal bills, tried to trade political favors for future jobs and campaign cash.

Money seemed to be one of Blagojevich's fixations on the tapes. He railed at his brother to raise $4 million.

On a tape from December 2008, he yelled at his brother, "This is not good. Your numbers keep coming down!"

Even that famous hair turned up in the tapes, admired by the wife of a campaign donor.

His brother, Robert, said that the wife of the donor "loves your hair and loves my hair, and because it's all real."

Blagojevich's lawyers argued that the tapes show that he was definitely blowing hot air, but not breaking the law.

Blagojevich plans to take the stand to explain himself.

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