The government should release the entirety of certain FBI witness statements and tape recorded conversations to the public rather than selectively publicizing sections, defense lawyers for Rob Blagojevich said today.
A new filing in the case of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his brother, Rob, argues that the government at times is "deceptively misleading" in a now-sealed proffer that a judge ruled will become public on Wednesday.
Their complaints come as they request that certain sections of the proffer are not made public before the June 3 trial.
"Our position is that 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. "We submit that this proffer will be summarized and quoted by the media again and again every week leading up to the trial. Parts will be quoted on television, in print, on radio and on the Internet."
The proffer, which often lays out likely testimony in the government's case, appears to be about 90 pages long, according to the filing.
Typically, prosecutors publicly file the document a couple of months before trial. We court reporters view the document -- known as the Santiago Proffer -- as among the most important in a case, as it usually lays out the government's strategy and teases to expected key testimony at the trial.
Prosecutors in Blagojevich's case filed the document under seal, or in private, to give the defense and the judge a chance to read it first and voice their objections.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel gave the defense until today to propose the parts they think should not be made public. He 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.)
Rob Blagojevich: government filing is "manifestly unfair."
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"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,... Read More