Blagojevich takes stand in his defense

May 26, 2011 (CHICAGO)

There is no question that the former governor is outspoken. He has demanded all the tapes be played in court, which hasn't happened.

Blagojevich also said he would take the stand at his first trial. That didn't happen, either.

On Thursday, the former governor will get his chance to tell the jury his side of the story when he is expected to take the stand in his own defense.

On Wednesday, it was Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. on the stand. Mayor Emanuel answered only a handful of questions, the main one: "Did anyone ever say to you that Valerie Jarrett could be named to the U.S. Senate if you or your brother held a fundraiser for Governor Blagojevich?" Emanuel's answer was no.

The congressman testified he never offered campaign money to Blagojevich even though Jackson admits he really wanted the Senate appointment. In cross-examinations, Jackson told prosecutors he declined a request to give Blagojevich a $25,000 campaign contribution.

Later that year, Jackson lobbied to have his wife, Sandi, named as state lottery director. But Blagojevich picked someone else. When the two men met later, Jackson said, Blagojevich departed the room and in classic Elvis fashion. Blagojevich snapped his fingers and said, "You should have given me that $25,000." Blagojevich disputes that version of events.

"About the Elvis thing, all I can tell you is it is absurd and not true. That never happened," Blagojevich said outside court.

On Wednesday, dozens of regular citizens mixed in with the media lined up outside the Dirksen Federal Building to get a court pass so they could be inside the courtroom to see the trial. That is the most people that have lined up since the trial began. And it may happen again Thursday. They started lining up just before 5 a.m.

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