Lawyers in Rod Blagojevich's case met briefly in court today to hash out some issues before next year's retrial. Here's the highlights:
--Downstate businessman William Cellini now has a trial date: August 22, 2011. Cellini was originally part of Blagojevich's case, but after codefendant Chris Kelly died, the federal judge gave Cellini a separate trial.
-- Prosecutors got the OK to hand over secret recordings to Tony Rezko's lawyers so they can use them in preparation for the convicted businessman's January sentencing.
They were not specific about which recordings Rezko is seeking but they would be new from the ones provided to him during his prosecution.
The request comes as Rezko's attorneys asked for a new trial this week.
-- Next status date in the Blagojevich case will be Feb. 22 -- the same day as the city's Mayoral election. Defense lawyer Sheldon Sorosky said he expects to file some new motions in the case. He asked to meet in January to discuss them, but U.S District Judge James Zagel said that wasn't necessary, casting doubt that the defense could come up with issues they have not already put before the judge during the first go-around. "I'm not expecting anything particularly revolutionary," Zagel said.
-- Blagojevich's retrial date remains April 20.