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

BLAGOJEVICH DEFENSE MOVES TO SUBPOENA PRESIDENT OBAMA

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Defense lawyers in the case of Rod Blagojevich moved today to issue a trial subpoena to the President of the United States, asking for his testimony at this June's trial.
They argue in a federal court filing that President Obama would act as a corroborating witness to former governor Blagojevich.
"There are two conflicting stories and the defense has the right to admit evidence that
contradicts the government's claims. Only President Obama can do this," defense lawyers wrote.
Last year, Blagojevich's lawyers asked for FBI reports of an interview with President Obama.
The White House has declined comment.
"As of today's date, the defense has not received any notes, transcripts, or reports from
President Obama's interview with the government," defense lawyers wrote.
"President Obama has direct knowledge to allegations made in the indictment. In
addition, President Obama's public statements contradict other witness statements,
specifically those made by labor union official and Senate Candidate B (Valerie Jarrett). It is anticipated that labor union official will be a witness for the government. His
accounts of events directly related to the charges in the indictment are contradicted by
President Obama's public statement," defense lawyers wrote.
Blagojevich's lawyers had no immediate comment on their filing.
In December, the Chicago Sun-Times reported the Blagojevich defense sought FBI interview information regarding President Obama, to get an early line on whether they would seek to call Obama as a witness.
Obama, whose seat was left vacant after he was elected president in 2008, was interviewed by the FBI before he officially took office. He is not accused of wrongdoing. It was his seat that was up for grabs and at issue in the case of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
At one point, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett was interested in the post and prosecutors allege that Blagojevich tried to leverage that interest into campaign cash, or a job for himself. Blagojevich has denied the charge.
She, too, was interviewed by the FBI in December 2008.
Experts have told the Sun-Times that while presidents
are subject to be called to trial -- President Bill Clinton gave a
videotaped deposition in a civil case -- the White House can cite
everything from national security to schedule conflicts to avoid
the witness chair.
Blagojevich's lawyers would have to persuade Judge James Zagel that written
or video testimony was no substitute.
The Sun-Times has reported that Rahm Emanuel is on tape discussing the
Senate seat opening with the ex-governor. Jarrett was interested in
the seat early on, and Blagojevich is heard on tape talking about
trying to get money or a job in exchange for giving her the seat.
Blagojevich attempted to use top labor official Tom Balanoff as an intermediary.

Read the defense filing here

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TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/31536

Actually, this is a false deployment of Slublog's Flaming Blago-Skull. I am just posting it because I haven't had an excuse to in forever. I really don't have an excuse now, either, because this is pretty much a non-story.... Read More

Rod Blagojevich's press people are calling it an "exclusive TV interview." But it's really just been five days since Illinois' former governor has been on the airwaves. He's trying to drum up an audience for tonight's talk with Fox News Channel's Gret... Read More

Judge James Zagel told the defense today they couldn't subpoena President Obama to testify at Rod Blagojevich's trial. After court, reporters asked Blagojevich lawyer Shelly Sorosky if that means they'll give up their request. Basically, it depends, h... Read More

3 Comments

Shades of Nixon and Watergate!

To paraphrase Senator Howard Baker's famous line, "..What did President Obama know and when did he know it?"

Now the nation will see whether this President considers himself above the law, or hubristically, that HE is the law.

As friend Shakespeare reminds us in Measure for Measure, "..Truth is truth, to the end of reckoning."

Birds of a feather flock together.

Undredacted:
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
EASTERN DIVISION
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA )
)
v. ) 08CR888
)
) Judge James B. Zagel
ROD BLAGOJEVICH )
MOTION FOR THE COURT TO ISSUE A TRIAL SUBPOENA TO
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
Now Comes Defendant Rod Blagojevich, by and through his counsels and hereby
requests this court issue a subpoena ad testificandum for President Barack Obama. In support of
said motion, defendant states the following:1
1. President Barack Obama was elected November 4, 2008 and was inaugurated January
20, 2009. Before being elected President, Mr. Obama was a United States Senator
from Illinois.
2. As a result of the election of Mr. Obama, his Senate seat was open for appointment by
Governor Rod Blagojevich.
3. The charges against Mr. Blagojevich stem from his appointment of President-elect
Obama’s vacated Senate seat.
4. According to media reports, President Obama was interviewed by two United States
attorneys and two FBI agents for two hours.2
1 Although it is the defense’s position that all tapes and sealed information be made public, to comply with the
Protective Order of April 14, 2009, portions that contain sealed information provided by the government have been
redacted. The defense, however, urges this Court unseal the entire motion. See, this court’s order dated April 14,
2010 (document 305) “Redaction, in cases where the redacted words are relevant to the case and considered in
reaching a decision, is still permitted but discouraged.” See In re Krynicki, 983 F.2d 74, 75 (7th Cir. 1992)
(“Information that is used at trial or otherwise become the basis of decision enters the public record.”) (citation
omitted). The case for redaction has to be proven not presumed. ... But it is clear that the remedy to the objection
that a portion of a statement may be misleading to the public (and the jury pool) is not redaction but disclosure of the
omitted portion. Disclosure of written material a month and a half before the beginning of trial does not come close
to presenting a significant threat that a fair jury cannot be found. The experience of the courts in cases which attract
significant news coverage has shown that pretrial news reporting is an overstated menace to fair jury trials.”
2 “Barack Obama questioned by FBI agents over Blagojevich Illinois senate seat scandal”, Toby Harnden, The
Telegraph, December 26, 2008.
Case 1:08-cr-00888 Document 327 Filed 04/22/10 Page 1 of 11
2
5. On December 19, 2009, the defense filed a Motion for Discovery. In that motion, the
defense requested all notes, transcripts, and reports generated from the government’s
interview of President Barack Obama.
6. As of today’s date, the defense has not received any notes, transcripts, or reports from
President Obama’s interview with the government.
7. The government alleges that Defendant Rod Blagojevich met “with a labor union
official who he believed to be in contact with the President-elect in regard to the
vacant Senate seat, and suggested to the labor union official that Rod Blagojevich
would appoint Senate Candidate B to the vacant Senate seat in exchange for Rod
Blagojevich being named Secretary of Health and Human Services.” (Indictment p.
101, para. 10(c)).
8. President Obama has stated publicly that he was “confident that no representatives of
mine would have any part of any deals3 related to this seat.”4
9. Yet, despite President Obama stating that no representatives of his had any part of
any deals, labor union president told the FBI and the United States Attorneys that he
spoke to labor union official on November 3, 2008 who received a phone message
from Obama that evening. After labor union official listened to the message
labor union official told labor union president “I’m the one”. Labor union
president took that to mean that labor union official was to be the one to deliver
the message on behalf of Obama that Senate Candidate B was his pick. (Labor
union president 302, February 2, 2009, p. 7).
10. Labor union official told the FBI and the United States Attorneys “Obama expressed
his belief that [Senate Candidate B] would be a good Senator for the people of
Illinois and would be a candidate who could win re-election. [Labor union
official] advised Obama that [labor union official] would reach out to Governor
Blagojevich and advocate for [Senate Candidate B].. . . [Labor union official]
called [labor union president] and told [labor union president] that Obama was
aware that [labor union official] would be reaching out to Blagojevich.” (Labor
union official 302, February 3, 2009 p. 3).
3 Deal is defined as a “transaction; bargain; contract; an arrangement for mutual advantage.” Merriam-Webster
Online Dictionary. A deal requires two willing participants.
4 President-elect Barack Obama press conference, December 11, 2008.
Case 1:08-cr-00888 Document 327 Filed 04/22/10 Page 2 of 11
3
11. According to Senate Candidate B, on November, 4 2008, Senate Candidate B
spoke with labor union official about the Senate seat. Labor union official said
he spoke to Obama. Labor union official said he was going to meet with
Blagojevich and said “he was going to push Blagojevich hard on this. According
to Senate Candidate B, labor union official’s language could have been stronger
than the language that she was reporting to the government.” (Senate Candidate
B 302, December 19, 2008).
12. On November 5, 2008, Blagojevich told John Harris that labor union official “talked
to Barack Obama, wants to come and see me.” Blagojevich then told Harris that
labor union official “was very explicit with me, “I talked to Barack about the
Senate seat. Can I come and see ya? Can I do it tomorrow?’ I said, sure.”
(Blagojevich Home Phone Call # 261).
13. A supporter of Presidential Candidate Obama suggested that she talk to the wife of
Governor Blagojevich about Senate Candidate B for Senator. (Valerie Jarrett
302, December 19, 2008). Supporter of Presidential Candidate Obama is
mentioned in a phone call on November 3, 2008, having offered “fundraising” in
exchange for Senate Candidate B for senator (Blagojevich Home Phone Call #
149).
14. President Obama has direct knowledge to allegations made in the indictment. In
addition, President Obama’s public statements contradict other witness statements,
specifically those made by labor union official and Senate Candidate B. It is
anticipated that labor union official will be a witness for the government. His
accounts of events directly related to the charges in the indictment are contradicted by
President Obama’s public statement.
15. Even the prosecutor in this case indicated “there’s no allegation that the presidentelect
– there’s no reference in the complaint to any conversations involving presidentelect
or indicating that the president-elect was aware of it.”5
16. There are two conflicting stories and the defense has the right to admit evidence that
contradicts the government’s claims. Only President Obama can do this.
17. President-elect Obama also spoke to Governor Blagojevich on December 1, 2008
in Philadelphia. On Harris Cell Phone Call # 139, John Harris and Governor’s
legal counsel discuss a conversation Blagojevich had with President-elect
5
“Fitzgerald Press Conference on Blagojevich. Transcript.” Chicago Sun Times, Lynn Sweet, December 9, 2008.
Case 1:08-cr-00888 Document 327 Filed 04/22/10 Page 3 of 11
4
Obama. The government claims a conspiracy existed from October 22, 2008
continuing through December 9, 2008.6 That conversation is relevant to the defense
of the government’s theory of an ongoing conspiracy. Only Rod Blagojevich and
President Obama can testify to the contents of that conversation. The defense is
allowed to present evidence that corroborates the defendant’s testimony.7
18. President-elect Obama also suggested Senate Candidate A to Governor Blagojevich.
John Harris told the FBI and the United States Attorneys that he spoke to
President’s Chief of Staff on November 12, 2008. Harris took notes of the
conversation and wrote that President’s Chief had previously worked as
Blagojevich's press secretary. Obama agreed of Staff told Harris that Senate
Candidate A was acceptable to Obama as a senate pick. (Harris handwritten
notes, OOG1004463) President’s Chief of Staff told the FBI that “he could not
say where but somewhere it was communicated to him that” Senate Candidate A
was a suggested candidate viewed as one of the four “right” candidates “by the
Obama transition team.” (Rahm Emanuel 302, p. 5, December 20, 2008). Harris
told Blagojevich Obama’s suggestion on November 12, 2008 (Blagojevich Home
Phone Call # 539).
19. President-elect Obama was also involved in other senate candidate choices. On
December 8, 2008, John Harris’ secretary’s call log noted President’s Chief of
Staff called at 10:47 am and wrote “needs to talk to you asap” (Harris 302,
February 20, 2009). President’s Chief of Staff told the FBI that he had a
conversation discussing the Senate seat with Obama on December 7, 2008 in
Obama’s car. President’s Chief of Staff told the FBI “Obama expressed concern
about Senate Candidate D being appointed as Senator. [President’s Chief of
Staff] suggested they might need an expanded list to possibly include names of
African Americans that came out of the business world. [President’s Chief of
Staff] thought he suggested Senate Candidate E who was the head of the Urban
6 See, Paragraph 38, Indictment entitled “Efforts to Obtain Personal Financial Benefits for ROD BLAGOJEVICH in
Return for his Appointment of a United States Senator.” The paragraph states: “Beginning in or about October
2008, and continuing until on or about December 9, 2008 . . .”
7 See, Wisconsin ex rel. Monsoor v. Gagnan, 497 F.2d 1126 (7th Cir. 1974) (holding that the state trial court
committed reversible error and violated the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial and compulsory
process by striking the testimony of the only corroborating witness to a phone call that related directly to the
defendant’s defense), citing Braswell v.Wainwright, 463 F.2d 1148, 1155-56 (5th Cir. 1972) (holding that “Closely
related to [the defendant’s] Sixth Amendment right is his right to a fair trial - - to due process. [The defendant] had a
right to at least present the testimony of his sole corroborating witness to the jury. That the jury might still have
returned a guilty verdict is beside the point; judgment of the credibility of witnesses is for the trier of fact.”)
Case 1:08-cr-00888 Document 327 Filed 04/22/10 Page 4 of 11
5
League and with President’s Chief of Staff’s suggestion." (President’s Chief of
Staff, 302, 12-20-08).
20. President Barack Obama has direct knowledge of the Senate seat allegation.
President Obama’s testimony is relevant to three fundamental issues of that
allegation. First, President Obama contradicts the testimony of an important
government witness. Second, President Obama’s testimony is relevant to the
necessary element of intent of the defendant. Third, President Obama is the only one
who can say if emissaries were sent on his behalf, who those emissaries were, and
what, if anything, those emissaries were instructed to do on his behalf. All of these
issues are relevant and necessary for the defense of Rod Blagojevich.
21. Tony Rezko is one of the government’s main witnesses.8 Mr. Rezko’s credibility is
extremely relevant in this trial. In many instances, Mr. Rezko is the government’s
crucial witness to prove up their allegations.9 Mr. Rezko wrote a letter to a federal
judge stating “the prosecutors have been overzealous in pursuing a crime that never
happened. They are pressuring me to tell them the “wrong” things that I supposedly
know about Governor Blagojevich and Senator Obama. I have never been a party to
any wrongdoing that involved the Governor or the Senator. I will never fabricate lies
about anyone else for selfish purposes.” (Exhibit A)
22. However, the defense has a good faith belief that Mr. Rezko, President Obama’s
former friend, fund-raiser, and neighbor told the FBI and the United States Attorneys
a different story about President Obama. In a recent in camera proceeding, the
government tendered a three paragraph letter indicating that Rezko “has stated
in interviews with the government that he engaged in election law violations by
personally contributing a large sum of cash to the campaign of a public official
who is not Rod Blagojevich. … Further, the public official denies being aware of
cash contributions to his campaign by Rezko or others and denies having
conversations with Rezko related to cash contributions. … Rezko has also stated
in interviews with the government that he believed he transmitted a quid pro quo
offer from a lobbyist to the public official, whereby the lobbyist would hold a
fundraiser for the official in exchange for favorable official action, but that the
8 The defense has requested that the government provide a witness list. To date, the government has not provided a
list of witnesses.
9 See, Counts 1, 2, and 3 of the Indictment. The Pension Obligation Bond Deal ( p. 9 (para. 7), p. 48 (para. 6)); The
Solicitation of Ali Ata (p. 9 (para. 9)), Benefits Given to Rod Blagojevich (Rezko directed or provided payments to
Rod Blagojevich’s wife) (p. 53 (para. 9 (a.), (b.), (c.))), Blagojevich used the power of the Office of the Governor to
give Rezko substantial influence over appointments to boards and commissions (p. 8 (para. 5)) (p. 13 (para. 18)) (p.
42 (para. 4-5)) (p. 47 (para. 4)) (p. 53 (para. 17)).
Case 1:08-cr-00888 Document 327 Filed 04/22/10 Page 5 of 11
6
public official rejected the offer. The public official denies any such
conversation. In addition, Rezko has stated to the government that he and the
public official had certain conversations about gaming legislation and
administration, which the public official denies having had.”10
23. President Obama is the only one who can testify as to the veracity of Mr. Rezko’s
allegations above.
24. President Obama has pertinent information as to the character of Mr. Rezko.
President Obama can testify to Mr. Rezko’s reputation for truthfulness as well as his
own opinion of Mr. Rezko’s character. See, Fed. R. Evid. 405(a) and 608. Mr.
Rezko and President Obama became friends in 1990. According to President Obama,
Mr. Rezko raised as much as $60,000 in campaign contributions for Obama.11
25. Based on the relationship that President Obama and Mr. Rezko had, President Obama
can provide important information as to Mr. Rezko’s plan, intent, opportunity, habit
and modus operandi. See, Fed. R. Evid. 404(b) and 406. For example, in June 2005,
President Obama purchased a house for $1.65 million, $300,000 below the asking
price. On the same day Tony Rezko’s wife, Rita, paid full price -- $625,000 -- for the
adjoining land. In January 2006, Obama paid Mr. Rezko $104,500 for a strip of the
adjoining land. The transaction took place when it was widely known that Mr. Rezko
was under investigation.12 President Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko is
relevant and necessary Fed. R. Evid. 404(b) and 406 evidence.
26. Regarding a Presidential subpoena, the Supreme Court has held that:
“The right to the production of all evidence at a criminal trial . . . has
constitutional dimensions. The Sixth Amendment explicitly confers upon
10 The defense has a good faith belief that this public official is Barack Obama. See, “Obama on Rezko deal: It
was a mistake”, Dave McKinney, Chris Fusco, and Mark Brown, Chicago Sun Times, November 5, 2006. Senator
Barack Obama was asked: “Did Rezko or his companies ever solicit your support on any matter involving state or
federal government? Did Al Johnson, who was trying to get a casino license along with Tony Rezko, or Rezko
himself ever discuss casino matters with you?” Senator Obama answered: “No, I have never been asked to do
anything to advance his business interest. In 1999, when I was a State Senator, I opposed legislation to bring a
casino to Rosemont and allow casino gambling at docked riverboats which news reports said Al Johnson and Tony
Rezko were interested in being part of. I never discussed a casino license with either of them. I was a vocal
opponent of the legislation.” Obama’s involvement with Tony Rezko and this legislation coincides with the
three paragraph summary the government has provided to the defense referenced above.
11
“Obama on Rezko deal: It was a mistake”, Dave McKinney, Chris Fusco, and Mark Brown, Chicago Sun Times,
November 5, 2006.
12
“8 Things you need to know about Obama and Rezko”, Tim Novak, Chicago Sun Times, January 24, 2008.
Case 1:08-cr-00888 Document 327 Filed 04/22/10 Page 6 of 11
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every defendant in a criminal trial the right ‘to be confronted with the
witnesses against him’ and ‘to have compulsory process for obtaining
witnesses in his favor.’ Moreover, the Fifth Amendment also guarantees that
no person shall be deprived of liberty without due process of law. It is the
manifest duty of the courts to vindicate those guarantees, and to accomplish
that it is essential that all relevant and admissible evidence be produced.”
United States v. Nixon, 418 US 683, 711 (1974).
27. Although it is not commonplace to subpoena a sitting President, the Supreme Court
has noted that sitting Presidents have been subpoenaed by federal courts with
“sufficient frequency that such interactions between the Judicial and Executive
branches can scarcely be thought a novelty.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 US 681, 704, 137
L.Ed. 2d 945, 967 (1997).
28. Indeed, history is replete with cases in which Presidents have been subpoenaed or
have provided evidence in federal cases.13
29. In addition to criminal trials, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F.
Kennedy were defendants in civil cases involving actions prior to taking office.
Clinton v. Jones, 520 US at 692, citing People ex rel. Hurley v. Roosevelt, 179 N.Y.
544, 71 N.E. 1137 (1904); DeVault v. Truman, 354 Mo. 1193, 194 S.W.2d 29 (1946);
Bailey v. Kennedy, No. 757,200 (Cal. Super. Ct. 1960); Hills v. Kennedy, No. 757,201
(Cal. Super. Ct. 1960). President Nixon was deposed in several civil actions and
13 See, United States v. Burr, 25 F. Cas. 30 (No. 14,692d) (CC Va. 1807) (President Thomas Jefferson ordered to
comply with a subpoena duces tecum in the trial of Aaron Burr); Rotunda, Presidents and Ex-Presidents as
Witnesses: A Brief Historical Footnote, 1975 U. Ill. L. F. 1, 5-6 (referencing President Monroe’s answers to
interrogatories in the trial of an appointee, whose meetings with the President were cited as contributing factors to
accusations he received his job appointment under “intrigue and misconduct” and also references a lengthy
deposition given by President Grant in a criminal case); United States v. Nixon, 418 US 683, 41 L.Ed. 2d 1039
(1974) (The Supreme Court held that President Nixon was obligated to comply with a subpoena duces tecum in a
criminal trial); United States v. Poindexter, 732 F. Supp. 142, 145, citing to United States v. Mitchell, 385 F.Supp
1190 (D.D.C. 1974) and United States v. Haldeman, 559 F.Supp.2d 31, 80-81 (D.C. Cir. 1976) (where President
Nixon was subpoenaed by the Government and defendants in criminal trials of his appointees resulting from the
Watergate scandal); United States v. Fromme, 405 F.Supp. 578 (ED Cal. 1975) (where President Ford was
subpoenaed and deposed as a defense witness in the criminal trial of the woman accused of attempting to assassinate
him); United States v. Poindexter, 732 F.Supp. at 145 (D.D.C. 1990) (referring to President Carter’s videotaped
deposition in a criminal trial and a separate grand jury investigation); Id., at 144-46, 159-60 (where President
Reagan was ordered to testify via videotaped deposition in the criminal trial resulting from the Iran-Contra affair);
and Clinton v. Jones, 520 US at 705, citing United States v. McDougal, 934 F. Supp. 296 (ED Ark. 1996) and
United States v. Branscum, No. LRP-CR-96-49 (ED Ark., June 7, 1996) (referencing President Clinton’s compelled
testimony via videotaped deposition in two criminal proceedings, including as an impeachment witness for the
defense in the McDougal case).
Case 1:08-cr-00888 Document 327 Filed 04/22/10 Page 7 of 11
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Presidents Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Tyler and Adams were compelled to appear before
congressional committees. United States v. Poindexter, 732 F. Supp at 145.
30. It is well settled that the Federal Courts have subpoena power over a sitting
President. Chief Justice Marshall’s early opinion from the Burr case has
been “unequivocally and emphatically endorsed” by the Supreme Court and
other federal courts. See, United States v. Nixon, 418 US at 706; Clinton v.
Jones, 520 US at 704.
“Whatever difference may exist with respect to the power to compel the
same obedience to the process, as if it had been directed to a private
citizen, there exists no difference with respect to the right to obtain it. ...
The guard, furnished to this high officer, to protect him from being
harassed by vexatious and unnecessary subpoenas, is to be looked for in
the conduct of a court after those subpoenas have issued; not in any
circumstance which is to precede their being issued.” United States v.
Fromme, 405 F. Supp. At 582, citing United States v. Burr, at p.30.
31. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that “the twofold aim [of criminal justice]
is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer.” United States v. Nixon, supra, citing
Berger v. United States, 295 US 78, 88 (1935). The Court continued, in Nixon, that
“the need to develop all relevant facts in the adversary system is both fundamental
and comprehensive. The ends of criminal justice would be defeated if judgments were
to be founded on a partial or speculative presentation of the facts. . . To ensure that
justice is done, it is imperative to the function of courts that compulsory process be
available for the production of evidence needed either by the prosecution or by the
defense.” United States v. Nixon, 418 US at 709. In sum,
[Federal precedent holds that] no person, even a President, is above the
law and that in appropriate judicial proceedings, documents and other
tangible evidence within the very office of the President may be obtained
for use in those judicial proceedings. Similarly, where the President
himself is a percipient witness to an alleged criminal act, the President
must be amenable to subpoena as any other person would be. United
States v. Fromme,405 F.Supp. at 582 (emphasis added).
32. Here, President Obama is a critical witness. All of President Obama’s testimony
would entail evidence he witnessed before he became president and does not involve
Executive Privilege. As the District Court ruled in Fromme:
Case 1:08-cr-00888 Document 327 Filed 04/22/10 Page 8 of 11
9
“Notwithstanding the burden which is imposed on the person of the
President if he is called to testify as a witness in a criminal trial, this
court has an even heavier burden to ensure a fair and a speedy trial to
the accused, with total regard for all the rights and protections afforded
an accused under the law of this land.
‘[The] allowance of the [Executive] privilege to withhold evidence that
is demonstrably relevant in a criminal trial would cut deeply into the
guarantee of due process of law and gravely impair the basic function of
the courts.’” United States v. Fromme, 405 F.Supp. at 583 (emphasis
added)(citations omitted), citing United States v. Nixon, 418 US at 712.
33. President Obama has direct and intimate knowledge of facts alleged in the indictment.
Indeed, the President is a percipient witness. United States v. Fromme, 405 F.Supp.
at 581. President Obama is a witness to the conduct alleged as well as an
impeachment witness to at least two of the government’s critical witnesses.14
34. The defense does not take lightly the overwhelming schedule the President has and
the security constraints surrounding his testimony. A videotape deposition will
remedy both of those legitimate concerns. See, Fed. R. Crim. Pro. 15 and see also,
United States v. Fromme, 405 F.Supp. at 582 (videotape deposition “protect[s] the
accused’s rights under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution while
at the same time imposing the least onerous burden on the person and the office of the
President of the United States.”).
35. The defense requests that, if this court grants a videotape deposition in lieu of in-court
testimony, defense counsel be permitted to conduct the examination of President
Obama after the government’s case in chief. See, United States v. McDougal, 103
F.3d 651 (ED Ark. 1996) and 943 F.Supp. 296 (ED Ark. 1996) (videotaped
deposition of President Clinton which took place at the White House, and because
President Clinton was called as a defense witness to impeach David Hale, the Court
ordered that President Clinton not testify until after the in-court testimony of David
Hale.).
36. The defendant has a right to put on a case and challenge the allegations the
government attempts to prove. President Obama is relevant and necessary to the
14 Joseph Aramanda is another government witness that President Obama can testify to as well. Joseph Aramanda’s
son, John Aramanda, received an internship with then-Senator Obama. Joseph Aramanda contributed $11,500 to
Obama since 2000 and John Aramanda was recommended by Tony Rezko. Internship also links Obama, Rezko,
Frank Main, Chicago Sun-Times, December 24, 2006. President Obama will be able to provide relevant information
as to Joseph Aramanda. See, para. 24 and 25, supra.
Case 1:08-cr-00888 Document 327 Filed 04/22/10 Page 9 of 11
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defendant’s case. The defense understands that the President of the United States of
America is not a routine witness and would not request his appearance if it did not
think he was critical to the liberty of Rod Blagojevich. Whatever security or
scheduling concerns can be reduced by arranging for the most convenient
presentation of testimony. The President can testify via video conference or can be
deposed outside of court at an evidence deposition. These options would satisfy the
defendant’s fundamental right to a fair trial and security and scheduling concerns.
37. The defense requests this court grant this motion not because Rod Blagojevich was
the Governor of Illinois, but because he is a defendant in a criminal case where his
liberty and freedom are at stake. Likewise, the defense requests this court grant this
motion to issue a subpoena ad testificandum to President Obama, not because he is
the President of the United States, but rather because he is a witness necessary to Rod
Blagojevich’s Constitutional right to a fair trial. Justice requires no more and no less.
“it would be inconceivable -- in a Republic that subscribes neither to the
ancient doctrine of the divine right of kings nor to the more modern
conceit of dictators that they are not accountable to the people whom
they claim to represent or to their courts of law -- to exempt [the
President] from the duty of every citizen to give evidence that will
permit the reaching of a just outcome of this criminal prosecution.
Defendant has shown that the evidence of the . . . President is needed to
protect his right to a fair trial, and he will be given the opportunity to
secure that evidence.” United States v. Poindexter, 732 F. Supp at 159.
WHEREFORE, defendant Rod Blagojevich respectfully requests this Honorable Court
order the government turn over to the defense any and all reports generated during any and all
interviews had with President Barack Obama and issue a subpoena ad testificandum for
President Obama to appear at the trial of United States v. Rod Blagojevich.
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Sam Adam
Sheldon Sorosky
Sam Adam
Michael Gillespie
Samuel E. Adam
Aaron Goldstein
Lauren Kaeseberg
6133 S. Ellis
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 752-6950
Attorneys for Rod Blagojevich, Defendant
Case 1:08-cr-00888 Document 327 Filed 04/22/10 Page 10 of 11
11
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The undersigned hereby certifies that Defendant’s MOTION FOR THE COURT TO
ISSUE A TRIAL SUBPOENA TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA was served on April 22,
2010, in accordance with Fed. R. Crim. P. 49, Fed. R. Civ. P. LR 5.5, and the General Order on
Electronic Case Filing (ECF) pursuant to the district court’s system as to ECF filers.
/s/ Sam Adam
One of the attorneys for Rod Blagojevich
Case 1:08-cr-00888 Document 327 Filed 04/22/10 Page 11 of 11

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on April 22, 2010 11:17 AM.

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