Major Chicago news outlets -- including the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press -- have made a bid to a federal judge to make public a key document filed under seal in the case of Rod Blagojevich.
The news outlets filed a motion in federal court this afternoon asking that a judge unseal the Santiago Proffer in the Blagojevich case. The proffer is usually a roadmap to the prosecution's case, filled with details and teases to expected testimony by key witnesses at trial.
The petition comes days after federal prosecutors filed the proffer under seal in "an abundance of caution," saying they didn't want new details in the case to be made public without the defense and the judge having a say over whether the details should be released. They also said that the process of qualifying jurors had begun and the government didn't want to taint a potential pool by making the document public.
Lawyers for the news outlets say the document should be made public.
"Tribune, AP and Sun-Times respectfully assert, on behalf of the public, that there is no valid reason to seal any part of the proffer in this case and to do so would be out of line with precedent in this courthouse and in violation of the public's First Amendment and common law right of access," the filing states.
The issue is expected to be raised tomorrow during an already scheduled court hearing in the Blagojevich case.