Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Judge: Fitzgerald will stay on Blago case

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Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich has failed in an attempt to have U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald thrown off his criminal case in federal court. Chief U.S. District Judge James Holderman on Friday denied Blagojevich's motion asking that Fitzgerald -- as well as every assistant U.S. Attorney in his office -- be thrown off the case. Blagojevich argued that Fitzgerald made inappropriate remarks during a news conference about the then-governor. He asked that the grand jury probe be ceased.
At the Dec. 9th news availability, Fitzgerald said Blagojevich's alleged actions would make President Lincoln roll over in his grave and called the allegations --including trying to sell President Obama's Senate seat -- a political corruption crime spree. Blagojevich also said Fitzgerald shouldn't have referenced portions of taped conversations during the news conference.
For their part, the U.S. Attorney's office said Fitzgerald used strong language to communicate to the public why a governor had just been arrested.
But Holderman entered an order Friday denying Blagojevich's argument, saying the legal precedent the defense cited "is neither factually nor legally on point." He said he'd defer the other matters to the judge who is actually assigned to the case if it is indicted.
Prosecutors have said they expect a grand jury to return an indictment by early April.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on March 8, 2009 10:22 PM.

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