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

Blagojevich asks federal judge for Obama interview -- again

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Rod Blagojevich's lawyers are again asking for notes from the FBI's interview with President Obama.

The interview happened in late 2008, following former governor Rod Blagojevich's arrest.
In the course of the Blagojevich investigation, the FBI and prosecutors interviewed Obama, along with Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett, just as they were transitioning into the White House. Investigators wanted to ask them about their interactions with Blagojevich, charged with scheming to sell Obama's vacant Senate seat.

Defense lawyers complain that if Obama were anyone else but the president, they would have the FBI notes from the interview (which is called a 302).

"Based upon the content contained in the disclosed 302s of other individuals that were tendered by the government, the Obama 302s at issue would almost certainly have been disclosed if the interviewee was anyone other than the President," Blagojevich's lawyers wrote. "The mere fact that these summaries are from FBI interviews with the President does not make them non-discoverable."

Last year, attorneys asked U.S. District Judge James Zagel to subpoena Obama and to release the interview notes. Both questions were denied.

Attorneys argue that the notes would help them better cross-examine SEIU leader Tom Balanoff, who testified last summer at Blagojevich's first trial that he received a call from Obama the night before the presidential election. Balanoff said he saw that call as a signal to move forward and have discussions with Blagojevich about the possible appointment of Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate seat.

Blagojevich's team says that contradicts an Obama team report that was issued Dec. 23, 2008, which "...states that President Obama did not direct anyone to speak on his behalf regarding the White House's preferences for the Senate seat appointment," Blagojevich lawyers wrote.

Click here to read the filing: Request for FBI 302 Interview Summaries of Barack Obama

Click here to read the report: Obama Report

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Then President "Elect" Obama conducted an "internal invsetigation" that turned out "no wrong doing on behalf of himself or his staff"...the report NEGLECTED to mention Obama's conversation with Tom Balanoff... Does anyone think Patrick Fitzgerald "forgot" to ask Obama about this? Afterall the U.S. Attorney's knew all along about his conversation and what was said...Judge Zagel originally said that he would not release the contents of that interveiw unless someone testified that they spoke to Obama BOTH requests came BEFORE the Balanoff testimony...Why the defense never resubmitted their request after his testimony is quesitonable seeing they could have used it in their cross...I hope the defense is more persistant with their cross of John Wyma this time around, he didn't go to the U.S.Attorney's office because of his high moral standard...It was John Wyma who tipped off Rahm Emanuel and the Obama staff to begin with, this is why Obama knew the fed's were listening. It's not against the law to make recommendations for his old Senate seat; WHy didn't he contact Rod directly? Over the phone or email?? He was afraid because he knew the feds were listening...
Poor Rod will never get those minutes...

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on April 4, 2011 9:18 AM.

Blagojevich update: 2 p.m. court hearing canceled was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich prosecutors: Jurors shouldn't hear Blago brothers talk about hair is the next entry in this blog.

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