The Attorney General here in Illinois, Lisa Madigan said she's not going to defend him. So he has to do this privately. So what the Judge did was, he said listen I will allow him to use what's left in his campaign fund but I am going to dole it out in public defender rates. So every lawyer that worked on the case had to work at public defender rates. My father, me, the individuals we had working for us, we ended up having experts and getting all of that done and we went through 2.8 million dollars at public defender rates before the trial even started.
S.A.: So that tells you what kind of defense this is. The Judge made us give him hour by hour, line by line, and he would not approve them until he was satisfied that the hours spent were actually done and done at the public defender rates. Now, what lawyer in his right mind, since I obviously wasn't, what lawyer in his right mind who comes from one of these silk stocking firms, is going to charge public defender rates? At the time I think it was a hundred dollars an hour. Nobody. Nobody.
These silk stocking firms cost seven fifty. Especially out east. Seven fifty, seven eighty, an hour. Now if there is an investigation and he ends up being charged, he is going to have to, the Judge will probably allow him to use a lot of thecampaign fund but how much does he have in it?
R.K.: Ah ha. So even though people donated this for politics, wow. That's -
S.A.: Right. The theory behind that is look. This is part of the campaign. Our argument was, here look he is innocent until proven guilty and this does effect his political life. This money should be used to help him fight these charges that affect his political life. The judge agreed but under those circumstances.
R.K.: So you helped him get that situation?
S.A.: Yeah. Well the truth of the matter was, nobody at the moment he got arrested there was 0% approval rating. Nobody wanted to take him on that had any real experience. There were a lot of people that made offers to work, of course, but they didn't have any real experience. None of the silk stocking firms would take it because it was so, in their terms, little money.
My father and I had just come off of defending R. Kelly and we were here in Chicago and there was a lot of notoriety and it was just my father and me, we were small and still are, a small firm. And we said look, this guy he has got to get some help here, what is going on here is just not fair, we will work on this case, let's see if we can go in there and try to use some of the campaign funds here to defend this. Now what's on the other side of that, Rob, is, you have to look at what the government spends, you know?
This is, I am giving you true facts which is with Blagojevich we had a year and a half to prepare. It was my father and myself and then we ended up getting other people to help us because we were allowed to use those, we got turned over to us five million pages, I mean that's a tremendous amount of work. Tremendous amount of discovery. Five million! And we had some like two million emails that you have to go through, if you go through it just one time you're still trying to develop a defense.
The government can come at you and spend as much money as they want. You know I joke about this but this is true. You know what happens when the government runs out of money? They print more. If you need more investigation you just go over to the mint and print more. Now Christie is facing this. If there is a real investigation and I don't know how there cannot be. How can a mayor of a city come in and say she was extorted or attempted extorted and you not investigate it? You have got to fight that. And it's going to take millions of dollars to do it.
R.K.: So when you defended Blago, there were twenty three or twenty four charges and only one of them stuck, the other ones were hung jury, what were the ones that did not stick?
S.A.: With Blago there were twenty four and we hung on twenty three. Now at the time, and I got to give Patrick Fitzgerald credit for this, right after it was hung it was learned that on the Senate Seat count, that it was hung eleven to one, that there was one individual that said look he didn't do anything here we can't, but on every single other count which was a wire and mail fraud for instance, the Mayor of Chicago now, but at the time was a Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, supposedly it was alleged that there was a school here in Chicago that Rahm Emanuel wanted to build a football field or funds expended to build a football field and allegedly Blagojevich said look have your brother do a fundraiser for me, you know his brother is Ari out in California who is a big time agent, have him raise some money for me and then I'll give it to you. That was hung.
Supposedly there was an individual by the name of Patrick Magoon who was head of Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago who was looking to get a lot of funds for the hospital and supposedly and allegedly he told Magoon, look you give me twenty five thousand dollar contribution I'll make sure you get your money, that was hung. But not on eleven to one.
On the twenty three of the twenty four charges, only one was hung eleven to one, everything else was either six to six or seven five, there were a couple in which there was more not guilty than guilty. The reason I bring that up is to say if it's done right, and you have the resources to come forward and show these things in a different light, you can have success. You can have real, real success here and knock on wood at that time we had some success. The thing I couldn't fight was when his lawyers had Blago go down and talk to the Feds without being recorded in some way.
That was done by a different law firm years earlier, which is to say here, Christie should look at this. One of the things Christie should do is seriously take a sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney and say how should I handle this? I know I have a political life, and you have to take that into account, but I also have to be out here for my family and not be in prison. Am I making the right statement? Should I make statements? Is this something that I should still pursue? Should being in Florida and trying to become President of the United States really something that I should do here because when the Feds throw the weight of the Federal Government behind you, and this is, I can give you my quote at the time, it doesn't apply now but in Blago I said, in my closing argument I said, look at this, all of the weight of the Federal Government comes here and they can't show you a single dime that he took? Follow the money. They can't show you one dollar that he put into his pocket? It's because he is not corrupt. The same people who are chasing Bin Laden are chasing him and they can't show it. But the power of that is to say, look how powerful this Federal Government is and this is when they throw the weight behind you it effects your entire life and Christie has got that coming.