Reporting with Sarah Ostman
Judge James Zagel denies a defense request to gain access to the FBI report summarizing then President-Elect Obama's 2008 interview with federal investigators.
Defense lawyers argued in a filing last week that the government minimized Obama's knowledge of the then-Governor's attempts to horsetrade for the Senate seat appointment. They said that testimony by government witness John Harris contradicted that portrayal by federal prosecutors.
Harris testified last week that Blagojevich believed Obama knew about Blagojevich's request for a presidential cabinet appointment in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the Senate seat.
Zagel said there was nothing relevant concerning Harris's testimony that would allow the defense access to Obama's interview.
"There's just nothing there," Zagel said.
In their filing last week, defense lawyers argued that it was the government's own witnesses and evidence who raised the issue of Obama's knowledge of the Senate seat dealings.
"Testimony elicited by the government from John Harris and wiretaps played in court raise the issue of President Obama's direct knowledge and communication with emissaries and others regarding the appointment to his senate seat," lawyers wrote in the filing.