CHICAGO — The federal perjury trial of a former chief of staff to longtime former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan continued Tuesday, as lawyers for Tim Mapes presented their case.
Mapes, former chief of staff to former House Speaker Michael Madigan, is accused of perjury and attempted obstruction of justice. Prosecutors allege Mapes tried to block a criminal investigation of Madigan and Springfield insider Michael McClain.
Using a series of secret recordings, the government told jurors Mapes lied about his knowledge of Madigan and McClain’s political activities.
In one 2018 call, when ‘MeToo’ had swept through the legislature, McClain told Mapes he disagreed with Madigan’s appointment of Maggie Hickey to investigate the mistreatment of women at the Capitol.
Before prosecutors rested their case on Monday, they played a wiretap of McClain saying he worked to block the selection of Hickey as U.S. attorney in Chicago.
“I did everything, Adam Vaught and I did everything we can to get (Hickey) nixed as the next U.S. Attorney.“
McClain expressed concern that Hickey’s Springfield harassment probe could jeopardize Madigan’s speakership.
McClain: “What if Maggie Hickey announces November 15 that the culture has existed because of the CEO? And so, Mike Madigan should be rejected. Fired. What, what is our game plan if, if Maggie Hickey’s recommendation is Mike Madigan should be fired?”
Mapes: “And the comments were?”
McClain: “Oh, I don’t think that’ll happen. Mike’s got a good relationship with her. He, he met with her.” I said, “‘I think you guys are totally wrong.’ I mean, she’s a Republican.”
McClain: “This is the perfect opportunity for them to tube him.”
McClain goes on to muse that Hickey might be distracted by another investigation she was conducting at Chicago Public Schools. But he mentions he’s worried about former Republican governor Bruce Rauner’s potential influence over Hickey.
McClain: “We may be saved because CPS is so big and so strong, and so media driven, that Maggie Hickey may be completely…uh…consumed with that, and not with Madigan. But if Rauner slips her 50 or 100 grand…um…that would be her, that’ll be her recommendation November 15th.“
If Mapes is convicted, he could be sentenced to more than 20 years in prison. Mapes has denied any wrongdoing. He decided not to testify and the defense rested.
Closing arguments are set for Wednesday.