Telephone Conversation between Michael McClain and Michael Madigan | ComEd Exhibit 86-T

Michael Madigan and Michael McClain discuss an issue involving then-Senate President John Cullerton and anti-Madigan political ads from Senate Democrats.

SHARE Telephone Conversation between Michael McClain and Michael Madigan | ComEd Exhibit 86-T

CASE TITLE: United States v. McClain, et al.


ACTIVITY: Telephone Conversation between Michael McClain and Michael Madigan

DATE: Sept. 5, 2018

TIME: 1:40 p.m.



MCCLAIN: Hi Speaker, how are you?

MADIGAN: I’m good Mike, how are you?

MCCLAIN: Sorry about that stupid Cullerton move.

MADIGAN: Well, that’s what I wanna to talk to you about. what’s your take on what I should do?

MCCLAIN: Um, well right now I, I’d let your agents do it for, for now. I, I mean I’ve, I’ve sent Cullerton a, a text message and I know other people are calling him and, and uh, texting him so um, so right now I’d let the agents uh, give him body blows. But, I mean sooner or later you gotta, you gotta approached, approach him and say that it was fucking really in—, inappropriate. Right?

MADIGAN: That’s my view yeah, yeah.

MCCLAIN: Sooner or later, sooner or later you got to.

(Simultaneous conversation.)

MADIGAN: It, it, Mike it’s not enough they have Trump and Rauner to campaign against?

MCCLAIN: Right. No I mean, y— the, the problem is the guy doesn’t understand it and neither does his consultants, that Rauner’s people right now are probably putting together a thirty second ad, uh, quoting these candidates, that uh, the senate democrats join with me in saying enough of Madigan.


MCCLAIN: So, I mean, th—, that’s what were gonna see now is we’re gonna see a, a thirty second or a minute ad where they quote uh, senate democrats saying Madigan should quit, he should resign, he should be stopped.

MADIGAN: Mhm, mhm.

MCCLAIN: And they’ll, then there gonna use it against uh, our, your candidates, our candidates.

MADIGAN: Right, right.

MCCLAIN: It, so it’s got, it’s got enormous um, implications in my view.

MADIGAN: (Unintelligible) yeah.

MCCLAIN: So, I, I just um, uh, it, it, it’s so stupid. I, I, I, I can’t even um, I can’t even put my arms around it. It, it’s so, it’s such a, a lack of recognition for what this will end up happening with, with the next stage. Um, you know, it, it, w—, you know you, you got enough problems with the Kelly Cassidy and the “Me Too” and all that kind of stuff without adding more ammunition for your, your um, casual opponents inside the caucus to have ammunition against you for speakership.

MADIGAN: Yeah well I, I don’t even get that far. And this is a general election.


MADIGAN: This is the time to be against the Republicans.


MADIGAN: Not against the Speaker.

MCCLAIN: Right, right. So I, I’d let us handle this for twenty- four, forty-eight hours and then if Cullerton by that time hasn’t called you, then I guess you, you’re gonna have to call him or have your secretary call his secretary and say that uh, you two ought a meet and uh, he should, he should come to your law office.

MADIGAN: Okay. Alright Mike, anything else?

MCCLAIN: No, I’m just sorry for ya, you got enough on your mind without all, uh, being hit from behind from, you know, uh, what you would of considered years ago, a, a, friend. Right? I mean—

MADIGAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MCCLAIN: You know it’s just, my dad always says, you always got hurt from your friends not your enemies cause your enemies you have your guard up.


MCCLAIN: It’s your friends that hurt.

MADIGAN: Sure, sure.

MCCLAIN: But I, I’d let us work on him for twenty-four to forty- eight hours and if he hasn’t called you by then, then that’s what I would do.

MADIGAN: Yeah so, so, Mike, um, let me just share with you. My instinct is to call the guy and tell ‘em number one, I think what he’s doing is inappropriate because we got plenty to work with with Trump and Rauner and this is a general election, not a primary election. And, and, and, and my advice is that he pulls the ads down. And number two, that is my request.


MADIGAN: And number three, John, do you understand the position you’ve put me in? In terms of do I do something or do I do nothing. So, do I just do nothing about this or do I do something about it? Now, I’m not certain what something would be but-

MCCLAIN: Right. Well you could put it, I mean, you know you’re a street fighter. I mean I know you got a law degree but you’re more of street fighter than anybody knows, except for maybe guys like me. Um, and if you want to put the squeeze on the guy you could hurt him pretty badly.

MADIGAN: Yeah. Yeah, alright, I’ll think about it.

MCCLAIN: Okay. I, I’m on it though.


MCCLAIN: Alright.

MADIGAN: Talk to ya.

Read the original transcript of the conversation

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