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

Blagojevich trial: Day 26 -- Decision Day

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After a night of wrangling, a haggard-looking defense team for Rod Blagojevich was ready to rest its case without calling a witness Tuesday -- but lawyers were told by the judge to sleep on the decision.

We'll be back today, at 9:30 a.m. with a final public decision by Rod Blagojevich.

Rod Blagojevich attorneys Sam Adam Sr. and Sam Adam Jr. said publicly they were divided on whether to put the former governor on the stand. But Attorney Sheldon Sorosky later told me: "There's absolutely no dissension among the lawyers."

Ultimately, sources tell the Sun-Times that on Monday night, the attorneys and the former governor agreed that Blagojevich couldn't withstand what promised to be a stinging cross examination. They were also concerned because during preparation he was reluctant to admit he made mistakes and couldn't keep his answers brief.

Also factoring into the calculation: there was some concern that Tony Rezko might be called as a rebuttal witness by the prosecution if Blagojevich took the stand.

Sorosky conceded that without Blagojevich on the stand it closed the door to calling any rebuttal witness -- Rezko or otherwise.

The challenge now left for the defense: Sam Adam Jr. told jurors in his opening statement they would hear from Rod Blagojevich. Judge James Zagel will tell jurors they aren't allowed to hold the decision not to testify against a defendant.

Up today:

Blagojevich is expected to announce he won't testify. If that happens, U.S. District Judge James Zagel, outside of the jury's presence, will explain to him his rights and ask him if he's sure of his decision and that he is making that decision.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on July 21, 2010 4:00 AM.

Robert Blagojevich: "This whole experience has been a test" was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich trial: On "decision day," Rod Blagojevich arrives at the courthouse is the next entry in this blog.

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