Former National Democratic Fundraiser Joseph Cari Testifies in Rod Blagojevich Trial

That he (Rod Blagojevich) would give out state business in exchange to go back and collect money.”

— Joseph Carini

Former national Democratic fundraiser Joseph Cari took the stand this afternoon. The prosection questioned him about his contacts with Blagojevich fundraisers and about one of the more infamous and incriminating statements Blagojevich made.

Cari said he was introduced to the Blagojevich camp in 2003 by David Wilhelm, who was running the Blagojevich transition team. Cari eventually met with Christopher Kelly. Kelly asked him what it took to create a national fundraising effort. Blagojevich wanted to run for president.

Follow the money.

That's what jurors are being asked to do at the corruption trial of Rod Blagojevich, with more government witnesses expected to take the stand Thursday who prosecutors believe will link the former Illinois governor to shady money deals during his tenure.

One-time political insider Joseph Cari, who has pleaded guilty in an attempted extortion case and is awaiting sentencing, is expected to resume his testimony.

In complex but potentially crucial testimony on Wednesday, prosecution witnesses described a mechanism of multiple transfers and deposits that allegedly involved Blagojevich's inner circle.