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

Blagojevich wants his trial moved to November

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Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich has repeatedly said he's looking forward to clearing his name at his trial.
But now he wants that trial to start five months later than scheduled.
Lawyers for the indicted governor made a formal request to continue the June trial to November, saying they've been snowed under by recently turned over evidence and they still await a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
"Simply put, it is not physically possible to properly and adequately prepare for trial by the scheduled trial date," lawyers wrote.
Attorneys say they've been working around the clock but have been snowed under in documents.
They were just handed tens of thousands of pages of grand jury transcripts and FBI reports, which detail statements witnesses made in interviews.
All of that material, however, was turned over months earlier than the government was required to give it up.
Still in question though is when the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down -- or at least redefine -- the honest services statute. The high court has taken up three honest services cases and the legal community is expecting an overhaul to the law.
No one knows when their ruling will come down.
But the court has to rule before its session ends in late June.
Both Rod Blagojevich and his brother, Rob, face some charges involving honest services (defined as depriving someone -- in this case the people of Illinois -- to their "intangible right" to Blago's "honest services.").
In preparation for the high court, federal prosecutors in February re-indicted the brothers, adding new charges for the same underlying conduct.
So now, of the 24 counts against Rod Blagojevich, 13 allege an honest services violation.
For Rob, three of five counts allege honest services.
Lawyers say taking away those counts could change the game dramatically.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel has said in the past he was unlikely to grant much of a trial extension. The U.S. Attorney's office had no comment on the delay request.

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4 Comments

I caught part of Blagojevich's radio show over the weekend. What was WLS thinking? This show has nothing but two topics- Blago yelling about corrupt Democrats and Republicans. Blago yelling about his innocence.

People should start contacting the advertisers on the show and get him off the air. The judge should listen to this show. He would yank his bail.

Just in time to smear the democratic party some more during election time! I like it!

Funny how Blago's story changes to suit himself. "Play all the tapes sooner rather than later" has morphed into "we don't have enough time to review all of the materials".

So, the requested continuance would mean that we have to put up with an additional five months of his court jester act, while he seeks new reality shows and Top 10 appearances?

Be interesting if all of that comes back to haunt him, as someone who's really not taking his case seriously. Remember, the judge is on record as advising Blago to spend his time preparing his case rather than going on media blitzes.

I am so disappointed that the Blagojevich trial will be put off even longer. While the Illinois citizens and taxpayers sit and wait, Blagojevich is allowed to travel around the country and continue to make a fool of himself and the good people of Illinois. If the trial is to be delayed, then restraint should be placed on Blagojevich relating to public appearances, lectures, TV or radio shows and newscasts and any other venues.
It's time for Blaqojevich to be put on trial and I would hope the judge will dismiss this delay tactic for what it is, an embarrassment to the citizens of Illinois.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on March 11, 2010 2:46 PM.

Blagojevich to announce 'Top Ten' on David Letterman was the previous entry in this blog.

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