Blago Trial: New Tapes of Former Gov. Have Most Profane and Incriminating Language Yet

Newly released FBI wiretaps show Blagojevich's profane backroom politics.

ByCHRIS BURY and CHRISTINE BROZYNA
July 02, 2010, 12:42 PM

July 2, 2010— -- New FBI wiretaps released late this week reveal some of the most profane and incriminating language heard yet in the corruption trial of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois.

The profanity-laced tapes expose the fiery backroom politics happening in Blagojevich's office directly after President Barack Obama was elected, and federal prosecutors say they show the ex-governor conspiring to sell Obama's Senate seat in 2008.

The day after Obama's victory, Blagojevich is heard on the FBI wiretaps saying, "I mean, I've got this thing and it's f****** golden. And I'm just not giving it up for f****** nothing."

Blagojevich supposedly wanted to mine that gold by having the White House give him a top job within the administration in return for naming Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett to the Senate seat.

"U.N. ambassador. I'd take that," he said.

Blagojevich also suggested Obama ask wealthy supporters to fund a non-profit group that he would be paid to run.

"Can't they get like Warren Buffet and some of those guys to put like $10-, $12-, $15 million in that, like, right away?" he asked.

But when he heard the Obama team offered only "appreciation," Blagojevich went into a rage using a string of expletives.

"Give this motherf***** his senator. F*** him. For nothing? F*** him."

On Obama, he veers from rage to jealousy.

"I mean, you got this historic, f****** demigod. He's a demigod. At least for now. You follow me?" Blagojevich said during one phone call.

Prosecutors also used the most recent round of tapes to demonstrate Blagojevich's money troubles. Federal agents testified that Blagojevich and his wife Patti were at least $200,000 in consumer debt when he was arrested in December 2008.

In one tape played in court, a furious Blagojevich can be heard complaining about his financial situation.

"I'm stuck," Blagojevich said, his voice rising. "The whole world is passing me by and I'm stuck in the job of governor."

Somebody asked who was passing him by.

"Everybody!" he shouted. "Everybody!"

"I've got to figure out a way to take some financial stress off my family," he said. "I can't afford college for my daughter."

Blagojevich floated a wide assortment of names for Obama's vacant seat, including Oprah Winfrey.

"This one, she's so up there, so high, that nobody can assail this pick. This would be huge," he said.

At one point, the former governor even suggests appointing himself.

"I can always parach-, use it and f****** parachute me there," he said.

Blagojevich's lawyers argue that the tapes show nothing and that no money or jobs were ever exchanged. However, prosecutors insisted they portrayed an active conspiracy to seek bribes, foiled only because Blagojevich was arrested.

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