By Natasha Korecki
Federal Courts Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
Rod Blagojevich's lawyer called him "nuts."
Newspaper editorials have criticized his handling of the former governor's case.
And last week, his office dropped charges against one of two defendants.
Still, when it comes to Rod Blagojevich, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's lips remain sealed shut.
"The whole topic, put a big tent over it and I won't touch it, sorry," Fitzgerald said after reporters peppered him with questions at a news conference about honey importers.
On dropping charges against Robert Blagojevich last week?
On the Wall Street Journal asking that he step down?
On what his office has learned after hearing from jurors who have commented on the case?
"The office is aware there's a trial that will be coming in January and therefore we will not be commenting," Fitzgerald said.
Earlier this month, a 12-member jury was deadlocked on most counts against Rod Blagojevich, convicting him of just one of 24 counts. Prosecutors have said they are prepared to retry the remaining 23 counts against Blagojevich and the judge in the case said the retrial isn't expected until January.
The news conference involved charges against an illegal honey importing conspiracy that federal investigators said was the largest food customs case ever brought.
It charges that 11 people and six companies avoided $80 million in customs taxes by illegally importing honey from China. The government charges that the conspiracy involved changing labels and pretending the honey was really imported from other countries, including Indonesia, Russia, Malaysia and elsewhere, to avoid hefty customs fees.
According to charges, some of the honey contained antibiotics, which is not allowed by the FDA, Fitzgerald said. There's no accusation that anyone was harmed from the honey.