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

Judge to Rod: No tweets from the courtroom

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reporting with Natasha Korecki

Court got under way around 11 a.m., jurors have been picked (more to come) and Judge James Zagel has just told Rod Blagojevich that there can be no twittering from the courtroom.

Blagojevich has been twittering on and off since his arrest in December 2008, as has his publicist.

"I do not want anybody in the well of the court using twitter during trial," Zagel said.

The judge also warned Blagojevich that recent public statements he's made on radio and television could come back to haunt him.

Blagojevich nodded as Zagel explained that repeated statements outside of court can be risky and open himself up to issues. He placed his fingers up to his face and under his nose as Zagel continued talking.

"You do get to a certain point in time where if you make a lot of statements. . . and you wind up testifying on the witness stand," questions that have to do with "impeachment" might arise, Zagel said. "There is a risk . . . by repeated public statements outside the courtroom."

Then, there was a lighter moment.

Blagojevich leaned back in his chair, appeared a bit flushed and laughed when Zagel told his lawyer to shorten his opening statement -- set for this afternoon -- so his client can make it to his daughter's graduation ceremony later today.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris Fusco published on June 8, 2010 11:07 AM.

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