Attorneys for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (birthname, Milorad) lashed out at the government for not wanting to turn over an advanced copy of its witness list. The government cited many reasons, including security.
"This defendant is Rod Blagojevich, not Tony Soprano," lawyers wrote. This is the trial of the former governor for alleged non-violent offenses, not a replay of the Family Secrets (mob) trial."
Blagojevich's attorneys were responding to prosecutors who are holding back their list, saying there will be plenty of opportunity to get a handle on witnesses closer to the June trial.
"The security and potential harassment of the potential witnesses cuts against providing the defendants with a list of witness identities," prosecutors recently wrote in a court filing.
Lawyers asked again for an early return on statements made by witnesses to the FBI. That includes President Obama and his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who were interviewed by the FBI in 2008 after Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.
Prosecutors technically don't have to turn over that information until the time of trial. But they've said they will hand over witness statements three months ahead of time, or in March.
"This defendant is Rod Blagojevich, not Tony Soprano"
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