Blagojevich on Senate seat, 'I was on the right track'

May 31, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Blagojevich, 54, is in his third day of testimony. He faces 20 counts, including allegations of trying to trade a U.S. Senate seat for personal gain. He is also accused of pressuring people to make donations to his campaign in exchange for state business.

Blagojevich denies any wrongdoing.

On Tuesday, the defense picked up where they left off before the long Memorial Day holiday and asked Blagojevich about allegations that the former governor held up state business to squeeze campaign contributions from a racetrack owner and road builder.

On the stand Tuesday, Blagojevich was asked about a December 3, 2008, conversation he had with a top aide and good friend, Lon Monk. Monk, who took the stand for the prosecution on May 17, was questioned about the same conversation, which was recorded by FBI wiretaps.

The defense then played a conversation in which Blagojevich spoke with John Harris, a former aide.

"You had to pick one where I'm swearing, huh? I'm sorry again about that language," Blagojevich said.

Blagojevich apologized -- once again -- for his use of profanity, which has peppered the conversations recorded by the FBI. Blagojevich's the most explosive expletive and allegation -- involved the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by newly-elected President Barack Obama in 2008. Blagojevich is accused of trying to selling or trade the seat, which he called "f---ing golden," for his own personal gain. His testimony could last several days.

Blagojevich was accompanied by his wife, Patti, into court.

A main juror who missed court last week was also out on Tuesday. Judge James Zagel has not said if the woman will return. There are six jury alternates.

Blago defense: Prosecution making faces

During a morning break, Blagojevich's defense accused prosecutors of "making faces" while the former governor testifies in his corruption trial.

Lauren Kaeseberg, a Blagojevich attorney, told Judge James Zagel during the Tuesday morning break that the defense thinks prosecutors are distracting jurors with grimaces and frowns.

Judge Zagel said, "I did not see any of this" but said he will watch prosecutors closely. Zagel the only faces he has seen are coming from the first row behind the defense, which is where Blagojevich's wife, Patti, is sitting.

Prosecutor Reid Schar told Judge Zagel his team would be "more mindful" of their expressions.

Jurors were not in court for the discussion.

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