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

New Blagojevich indictment could come down next week: prosecutors

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Federal prosecutors expect a grand jury to return a new indictment against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his brother next week, they said in court today.
Prosecutors are expected to reindict the governor and Rob Blagojevich to help avoid problems with a disputed law that's being weighed this session by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar said that would likely happen by the end of next week.
That likely means that both the ex-governor and his brother will soon make an appearance again in federal court to formally enter a plea to the new indictment.
The high court is looking at three cases dealing with the honest services statute -- something the Blagojevich brothers are now accused of violating.
The new indictment isn't expected to break new ground.
"It is anticipated that any new charges would be based on the underlying conduct that currently encompasses the pending charges," prosecutors wrote in a December filing.
Defense lawyers have said they would seek a delay in the trial if the high court ends up throwing out the honest services statute, but U.S. District Judge James Zagel has said he was unlikely to give much of an extension.
Rod Blagojevich lawyer Sam Adam Jr. said his team will do all it can to be ready for trial as scheduled in June. He said he and the former governor have yet to finish listening to the hundreds of hours of recordings in the case.
Attorney for Rob Blagojevich, Michael Ettinger, said he believes the government will charge his client with extortion for the same underlying alleged conduct involving discussions for a campaign contribution. Ettinger said a new charge -- even if it's based on the same conduct -- could change the strategy of the defense.
"We'd have to go over the tapes again and prepare the defense for new conduct," Ettinger said.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on January 27, 2010 3:16 PM.

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