First Witnesses Testify in Blagojevich Retrial

May 03, 2011

The first witnesses took the stand Tuesday morning, in the 2nd trial of Ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. And Judge James Zagel wasted no time in chiding the defense for asking questions he says are inappropriate.

Like in the first trial, FBI agent Daniel Cain was the prosecution's leadoff witness. Cain testified about the long-running investigation into key members of the Blagojevich administration, and about all the wiretaps used in that investigation.

On cross examination, Blagojevich's lawyers tried to raise doubt by asking why some phone conversations are in evidence and others are not. The judge shut this down, and explained to the jury the legal reasons for excluding conversations- such as, if they were about personal things.

Also on Tuesday morning, John Harris began his testimony. Harris was Blagojevich's chief of staff, and was actually arrested on the same day as the governor. He's testifying for the prosecution in exchange for a lighter sentence, about a number of issues, including Blagojevich's alleged efforts to profit from his power to fill a US Senate seat.

All during the morning's s court action, the ex-governor took notes on a yellow legal pad, as he did the first time around, last summer.

Story source: AP