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

Blagojevich: 'Play all the tapes.'

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(Sun-Times photo by Al Podorski)
Blagojevich enters the courthouse today with his lawyer, Sheldon Sorosky (right).

Rod Blagojevich was famously caught on tape calling a U.S. Senate seat appointment (bleepin') golden.
But the former governor wants his future jury to hear that recording -- and everything else he said on secret FBI wiretaps he said minutes after he pleaded not guilty to a new indictment in federal court today.
Lawyers in the case filed a court motion late this morning asking U.S. District Judge James Zagel to allow both sides to play any relevant recording "without reservation or limitation in open court."

"Today I'm laying down the gauntlet now that I know that I have a constitutional right to try to suppress the tapes and as a former prosecutor, I think there's a good chance that that would be granted.

"However, here's what I'm not going to do, I'm not going to hide behind my lawyers, nor will I hide behind technicalities in the law to try to block these tapes from being heard.

"Instead, I've instructed my lawyers to petition the court, petition so that every second, every second, every minute, every hour that the government secretly taped me is provided to both sides to be heard and played in court. And I challenge the government, I challenge the government, if you are on the side of truth and justice as you say you are and if this was a crime spree like you claim it was, then don't hide behind technicalities play all the tapes. Play all the tapes. Play the truth and play the whole truth."

Blagojevich's lawyer, Sam Adam Jr., qualified later that, following the rules of evidence, only the tapes that are relevant to the case be played. There are 500 hours of recordings in the case.

In his public remarks, Blagojevich also said he would take the witness stand during trial.

Blagojevich, 53, said he believes he can contest the probable cause that allowed the wiretaps in the first place, but the ousted governor, who pleaded "innocent to each and every count" today revised indictment today, will waive any challenge and ask that the tapes be played at his June trial.
Since the case's inception, the government has alluded to the hundreds of hours of recordings that have been publicly viewed as a point of strength in its case.
The filing paints Blagojevich as welcoming of what he said on the recordings, which, but for portions of a handful of conversations, have been kept secret under a court order.
A federal grand jury indicted Blagojevich again last week, adding eight new counts and bringing to 24 the total number of charges against the ex-governor.
The new charges were crafted to protect the indictment and keep the case on track for trial as the U.S. Supreme Court looks to gut an honest services statute. Blagojevich was charged with violating that statute.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on February 10, 2010 10:30 AM.

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