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

Blagojevich trial: Judge James Zagel refuses defense motion to toss out case

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Returning from a lunch break, Judge James Zagel denied a motion for acquittal filed by the defense.

Defense attorney Lauren Kaeseberg argued the counts against the ex-governor have gone unproven. "At best, what the evidence shows is an attempt to attempt," she said.

Zagel responded that there has been sufficient evidence, particularly when taking into account not just the words on the transcripts, but the tone of voice of people speaking on the tapes.

The judge also responded to another defense theme -- that Blagojevich was working under the constant eye of lawyer-advisers while committing his alleged crimes. While this might be true, Zagel noted, it could just be proof that the lawyers themselves were in on the conspiracy.

The motion for acquittal argued that the government has failed to present enough evidence against the defendants and the trial should be thrown out. It's a fairly standard motion in trials -- but one that no one expected to make much headway here.

Court is now in a short recess, waiting for the jurors to be brought in. Robert Blagojevich will be back on the stand when we resume.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 19, 2010 1:36 PM.

Blagojevich lawyer: "Highly unlikely" that Valerie Jarrett will take the stand was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich trial: Defense plays its first tapes -- Robert Blagojevich, Bill Quinlan on fund-raising is the next entry in this blog.

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