Two weeks before the Chicago Mayoral election, Rod Blagojevich's lawyers are claiming that there's a missing phone call involving Rahm Emanuel that would help bolster their contention that the former governor was trying to broker a legitimate deal for the U.S. Senate seat.
They say Rahm Emanuel and Blagojevich's then-chief of staff John Harris had a telephone conversation that, if played, would help demonstrate his argument that he was trying to broker a deal to appoint Lisa Madigan.
Blagojevich has contended he wanted Emanuel to be the go-between on the deal.
"The governor's political strategy to enlist the help of Rahm Emanuel was unfolding as the missing ... Dec. 8 call would show," lawyers write in the motion.
They say the call was made the day before Blagojevich's Dec. 9, 2008 arrest and was not turned over to the defense during the first trial.
Trial testimony indicated that two of Harris' phones were tapped but there was at least one other line that was not tapped.
Blagojevich's motion refers to this phone call as "critical to Blagojevich's defense."
They ask for a hearing to discuss the tapes.
"Blagojevich makes absolutely no assertion that Rahm Emanuel was ever involved in or aware of any wrongdoing, criminal or otherwise," attorneys write in the motion.
Blagojevich is up for retrial April 20 after his case ended up in a mistrial on all but one count last summer. The jury was hung on the most explosive allegations, that the former governor schemed to sell President Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat. Despite hundreds of recorded conversations that were played, jurors complained of a lack of smoking gun evidence.
The U.S. Attorney's office had no comment. A spokesman for Emanuel could not be reached immediately.
Blagojevich claims Rahm phone call "mysteriously missing" from evidence
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