A pared down Rod Blagojevich trial team says it cannot be prepared to retry the former governor in January, asking to push it to May -- a possible benefit to at least one mayoral candidate.
A delay in a retrial could be good news to mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel, who was under subpoena to testify during Blagojevich's first trial and whose name repeatedly came up -- both a victim of the former governor's alleged schemes and as a go-between in discussing possible Senate picks with the former governor and his staff. The mayoral election is Feb. 22. Emanuel was also caught on audio recordings discussing possible Senate picks with the former governor's staff, but none of those tapes were played in the first trial.
"The new trial team simply does not have the resources to adequately prepare for a January trial," lawyers wrote in a filing this morning.
Because Blagojevich must now turn to public funds to bankroll his defense, he will only be allowed two defense lawyers. Those lawyers say they need more time.
Sources said that Judge James Zagel has told the defense he would be open to delaying the trial two months. However, he has not made a formal ruling and only tentatively had discussed a retrial in January.
The matter is expected to be discussed further in a court hearing this afternoon.