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

Blagojevich brother: Feds went too far in tapping my phone

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Rod Blagojevich's brother, Robert, is asking a judge to keep private 208 phone calls he says the FBI wrongly intercepted as part of its investigation into the former governor.
A defense court pleading filed today reveals that the feds captured more than 1,500 phone calls from the cell phone of Rob Blagojevich during their covert investigation last year.
As part of the FBI's wiretapping operation, they captured more than five hours of private conversations between Robert Blagojevich and his wife or between himself and his son. Those conversations should not have been part of FBI eavesdropping and were a violation of a court order and the law, contends Michael Ettinger, Rob Blagojevich's lawyer.
"To the extent that they did it, my client is extremely upset as is his wife," Ettinger said. Ettinger said there's nothing illicit in the conversations -- but they're private.
"It's wrong, they violated the statute. And it's the principle of it. They can't break the law and get away with it," Ettinger said.
Rob Blagojevich, a Nashville, Tenn. resident who was heading his brother's campaign fund last year, was eventually charged with two counts of wire fraud -- tied to a controversial honest services statute.
So if they're asking to suppress just these tapes -- does that mean that the defense isn't objecting to thousands of phone calls that were captured?
"That's an excellent question. This is the first step to subsequent motions regarding the tapes and that's all I'm going to say," Ettinger said.
In an exclusive interview with the Sun-Times last fall, Rob and his wife, Julie said they were horrified at the level of privacy penetrated by the FBI. Julie Blagojevich said she cried the first time she heard her voice on tape. Neither she, nor their son, were part of the investigation and agents should have shut down recording when they heard family members' voices.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on December 22, 2009 4:44 PM.

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