Rod Blagojevich is an honest man who "didn't take a dime" of illegal money and simply trusted the wrong people to handle his fundraising, the former Illinois governor's attorney said yesterday in a theatrical opening statement at Blago's corruption trial. "The guy ain't corrupt," said attorney Sam Adam Jr. "You have to be comatose not to figure out how to get a dollar out of $52 billion," Adam said, referring to the Illinois state budget. "But who didn't? Him!" he said indicating his client.
Sounding more like a tent revival preacher than an attorney, the AP notes, Adam walked briskly back and forth across the courtroom, and alternately shouted and whispered. He said Blagojevich was fooled by people close to him and was a poor judge of their character. The defendant was a dupe of Tony Rezko, he said. "The Bernie Madoff of Chicago fooled everybody, with all due respect, governor, including you!" Blagojevich never attempted to sell Obama's Senate seat and only wanted to gain leverage to improve the lives of his constituents, he added. "There was nobody buying or selling nothing," Adam said.