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

BREAKING: Blagojevich trial moving at lightning speed -- government may rest in 2 weeks

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Government prosecutors have on a couple of occasions said they're ahead of schedule in their case against the former governor of Illinois.

Now, the Chicago Sun-Times has just learned that prosecutors may rest its case against Rod Blagojevich the week after next.

Judge James Zagel had set aside 15-17 weeks for the trial.
The trial is only now in its fourth full week and the government is already moving on from the bulkiest part of its case -- testimony about the U.S. Senate seat.
While there's expected to be additional testimony in that regard, including about a $1.5 million promise of a contribution in exchange for a Jesse Jackson Jr. appointment, numerous key recordings were already played about the Senate seat.

Government witnesses have taken the stand and delivered explosive testimony at a quick clip. Key witnesses -- including former chief of staff John Harris and lobbyist Lon Monk were on and off the stand in a matter of a few days.

By contrast, Stuart Levine, the chief witness in the trial of businessman Tony Rezko, was on the witness stand in that trial for parts of 15 days.

We are already in day 17 of the Blagojevich trial -- including jury selection.

The defense team's cross examinations, for the most part, have been relatively brief. Their objections have been relatively sparse compared to other corruption trials. Absent is the grind-to-a-halt tactic typical of defense strategy in federal court.

Defense lawyers have complained that Zagel has blocked cross examination of witnesses by telling them they're not asking questions the right way or that they're outside the scope of direct testimony.

And the defense team has said its unconventional. It wants to play many of its own recordings and both defendants have vowed to take the witness stand.

They filed three motions for a mistrial on Wednesday alone. In one, they complained Zagel made inappropriate remarks to lawyers in front of jurors.

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Reporting with Sarah Ostman As we reported a couple of hours ago, prosecutors are close to resting their case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar, noting the trial has moved at an extraordinary pace, just told Judge James Zagel they could... Read More

1 Comment

Since when is it a crime to wear expensive suits and share your frustration with your close associates. Who committed a crime here--the arresting officers or theprosecuting attorneys?

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on July 1, 2010 2:18 PM.

How did Blagojevich spend $400,000 on clothes? Here's how. was the previous entry in this blog.

Jurors hear Blagojevich call President Obama a "motherf-----" is the next entry in this blog.

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