Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
The always-secure John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse took on the air of an armed camp this morning, as machine-gun toting US Marshals stood guard as Governor Deval Patrick arrived and departed after testifying in the federal corruption trial of former House speaker Salvatore DiMasi.
On a brilliant spring day cooled by a breeze off nearby Boston Harbor, a string of television trucks lined the street across from the Fan Pier building to broadcast reports morning, noon, and night.
The governor apparently arrived in his official Chevrolet Tahoe SUV, its tinted windows and trip down a side courthouse entrance obscuring its occupants. Aides, however, confirmed his arrival shortly after the trial resumed at 9 a.m.
He took the stand at 11:38 a.m., finished at 12:50 p.m., and left the courthouse in the same fashion. Aides said he would speak to reporters at 3:30 p.m., against the more neutral backdrop of the State House.
As Patrick testified, reporters outside monitored his statements via Twitter feeds. Passersby asked about the reason for the assembled crowd.
DiMasi himself walked in wearing dark gray suit, his wife, Debbie, and his stepdaughter, Ashley, by his side.
“Morning, morning," he told the gaggle of cameras awaiting him. "Sorry, I can’t say anything.”
Despite the solemnity of the event, the Boston Democrat wore a smile. His eyes were covered with dark sunglasses.
Before testimony began, a bomb-sniffing dog ran through the courtroom to ensure it was safe. All of the court's audience seats were then filled, with extras being able to watch via closed-circuit television in overflow room down the hall.
DiMasi, friend and accountant Richard Vitale, and Beacon Hill lobbyist Richard McDonough are accused of using the power of the speaker’s office to win $17.5 million worth of contracts for Cognos in exchange for kickbacks. They have denied any wrongdoing.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.