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Bribery, Joan and Melissa Rivers, pink elephants in Blago closing arguments


The prosecution in the trial of disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was dry, systematic, methodical, using a PowerPoint presentation to walk through the evidence in its closing argument.

The defense was dramatic and emotional.

Blago lawyer Sam Adam Jr. started right in with his biggest challenge -- what he called, "The pink elephant in the room" -- his opening statement promise that the jury would hear from Blagojevich directly. "I had no idea that in two months of trial, they would prove nothing," he said of the prosecution. "I told you he'd testify. We were wrong. I was wrong. Blame me."

(After a few other references to himself, Judge James Zagel interrupted: "It's nice if we didn't talk about one's self.")

"He had no intention of bribing anybody, no intent of extorting anybody," Adam said of his client. "Think about it: They're telling you he's trying to extort the President of the United States! Give me a break!"

Adam tried to dismiss the secret FBI wiretaps. "If you put Joan and Melissa Rivers in one room, you wouldn't get that much talk," he said, describing his client's comments are merely the talk of an insecure man surrounded by weak aides. Turning to Blagojevich, Adam said: "I'm sorry, guv, but you've got absolutely horrible judgement in people." Turning to the jury: "And they want you to find him guilty of these horrible things because of that."