Federal prosecutors in the case of Rod Blagojevich fire back at the former governor for talking about his legal woes while a contestant on the "Celebrity Apprentice," then complaining that the government is tainting the jury pool by citing "actual evidence" in the case.
"Notwithstanding the recent airing of a national television show
in which he repeatedly proclaimed his innocence, Rod Blagojevich now argues that he would be unfairly prejudiced by the publication of the actual evidence that will be heard at his trial," prosecutors wrote in a filing this morning.
They were responding to a Monday filing by attorneys of Rob Blagojevich in which they accused the government of being "deceptively misleading" in a now-sealed key document called the Santiago Proffer that will be made public tomorrow. Rod Blagojevich's lawyers joined in the motion.
"It is manifestly unfair to make public only portions of sealed tape
recorded conversations, which are taken out of context by the Government. To be fair to the defendant, we urge this Honorable Court to keep everything sealed or, in the alternative, unseal everything," Rob Blagojevich attorney Michael Ettinger wrote in the court filing. Attorneys for the former governor filed their own motion, but it is under seal.
Prosecutors say that Rob Blagojevich's suggestion that the judge unseal everything in the case: "is both unwarranted and completely at odds with his professed desire to limit the publicity that would accompany the unsealing of the Santiago Proffer."
The proffer is a significant filing in a case, as it usually lays out the government's strategy and teases to expected key testimony at the trial. It is expected to be more than 90 pages in length and make public portions of secret FBI recordings of the former governor and his brother.
Prosecutors in Blagojevich's case filed the document out of public view to give the defense and the judge a chance to read it first and voice their objections. Prosecutors say the sooner it's made public, the less of a chance it has to taint a jury that will be picked beginning June 3.
Since 2009, Rod Blagojevich has been on an intense media tour discussing aspects of his case and has written a book: "The Governor."
U.S. District Judge James Zagel gave the defense until Monday to propose the parts they think should not be made public. Zagel said he expects to unseal the document Wednesday.
The Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and AP intervened in the case and asked that the document be made public.