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

Blagojevich prosecutors call former governor a "liar," judge issues Blagojevich "red flag"

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Reporting with Lark Turner

Federal prosecutors were up in arms in court today over what they called "clear fabrications" Rod Blagojevich has made to the public in recent appearances on TV and in print interviews. Meanwhile, they jabbed Blagojevich for not taking the witness stand in the case.

Top prosecutor Reid Schar grew as emphatic as he has since case went to trial.

"At a certain point, enough's enough," Schar told U.S. District Judge James Zagel. "If he wants to continue to lie, he ought to be called on it."

Schar asked Zagel to offer "some remedy to address what are clear fabrications he's not being called on."

"This is just part of an attempt by him [Blagojevich] to poison what's going on. There's no misunderstanding," Schar said. "It's not justifiable, particularly the week of jury selection."

Zagel launched a warning to Blagojevich to tone down his on-air rhetoric.

"You can consider my remarks today as a red flag," Zagel said, "and maybe we'll have to deal with it again, maybe we won't."

Schar said prosecutors did not complain about Blagojevich's frequent on-air appearances the last trial because they believed Blagojevich would take the witness stand and they would have a chance to show "that it's absurd and he's a liar."

But Schar said he increasingly doubts Blagojevich will take the stand. Blagojevich hasn't made any promises this time around and his lawyers won't say either.

Schar said he was most angered by Blagojevich's recent TV appearances in which he said that prosecutors were not allowing him to play recordings he wanted at trial. Zagel has admonished Blagojevich before about such statements, since decisions over evidence fall squarely on the judge.

Schar called a recent TV interview where Blagojevich again brought up the recording issue "phenomenal in terms of fabrication."

Blagojevich's lawyer, Shelly Sorosky, tried interjecting by saying perhaps Blagojevich grew confused. Bristling, Schar cut him off.

"These are his talking points. This is not a mistake," Schar said.


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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on April 18, 2011 11:55 AM.

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