Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bart the police dog examines the Ryan trial

George Ryan, 71, and Larry Warner, 67, face a total of 22 counts of racketeering, mail and tax fraud, extortion and making false statements to investigators. Prosecutors allege Warner and others gave Ryan cash, gifts and favors for government contracts.

Many wonder if the former governor will testify in his own defense. We turn to the Daley Show's new court reporter, Bart the recently found police dog, for the latest.

Bart, George Ryan's attorneys kept the guessing game going Tuesday, refusing to say if the former governor will take the stand, possibly as early as today. What have you been able to sniff out?

Bart: Woof! Woof!

If Ryan does take the stand, some wonder if he will use the old Bill Clinton bend-the-language-to-suit-your-needs defense, as in, "I did not take bribes from that woman!" In that case, the prosecution must clearly define the word "bribe." Others say he'll employ the strategy of the current president: admitting no mistakes, regretting nothing, standing by his man, and declaring that all's fair in the war on the evil-doing Democrats. Bart, which strategy do you think would work best for Ryan?

Bart: Woof!

Thanks for that. Yesterday, a forensic accountant for the defense testified that by his analysis, he didn't think the Ryans were getting money from illegitimate unexplained sources -- a refutation of the prosecution's theory that Ryan was taking bribes. Now, Bart, I'm sure you've done plenty of work with forensic teams. Any indications this testimony might sway the jury?

Bart: Woof! Woof-woof!

Oh, sorry, is that choke chain on a bit tight? Let me loosen that a bit. What about this allegation that Ryan was a gambling man? Does that explain all the riverboat casinos in Illinois?

Bart: (silence)

What about that big wad of money that Ryan always carried, something prosecuters established earlier in the trial. Bart, I'm sure you've come across many drug dealers with wads of money in your line of work. What do you think? Was George Ryan dealing drugs? Bart? Bart! Now, where the hell did that damn dog go?


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