The four defendants are charged with conspiring to pay off former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan in order to secure supportive legislation for the energy corporation.

Why it matters: The trial is shedding light on how the powerful former House speaker handled lobbying and politics.

Moreover, despite the fact that Madigan was accused separately and has a trial date of April 2024, he has been the center of the federal government’s case.

What they’re saying: Federal prosecutors have attempted to paint Madigan as a rapacious politician who abused his ties with ComEd to secure employment for his buddies.

They claim that because Madigan was legally banned from giving his friends public sector jobs, he used the private utilities company as a workaround.

They have also charged comed executives and lobbyists of actively working to make that happenThe other side: The defense has portrayed Madigan as a shrewd, powerful politician who wouldn’t waste his time on a couple of board appointments. They argue the former speaker was a master politician who knew where the ethical guard rails were and wouldn’t go near something as rudimentary as a bribery scheme.

They also contend that there’s no evidence tying Madigan to favorable ComEd legislation.

Yes, but: The feds point to Madigan-backed legislation in 2011 that gave ComEd more control over how they charged customers.

The intrigue: For Illinois political junkies, testimony from Madigan’s longtime precinct captain Ed Moody highlights the backbone of the “Chicago machine” that Madigan was allegedly running.

Moody knocked on doors for Madigan’s political campaigns and was allegedly rewarded with a $45,000 contract with one of the ComEd lobbyists. He said Madigan told him, “I control that contract, and if you stop doing political work, you’ll lose that contract.”