Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich accused prosecutors Monday of attempting to throw the former governor "into a boxing ring with one arm tied behind his back."
" ... It appears the only request left out by the government is that the defense not be allowed to use the words 'not' and 'guilty' in the same sentence," the defense wrote in a strongly-worded response to a motion from prosecutors last week asking the judge to ban certain arguments in the trial, which is set to begin with jury selection tomorrow.
Here are some of the defense's arguments:
• Blagojevich, lawyers said, isn't publicly misleading anyone about 'playing all the tapes.' Playing more could show the jury that Blagojevich didn't plan a "linear" scheme, the filing argues; prosecutors object that the number of tapes is irrelevant to the case and, besides, they don't need to prove Blagojevich had a linear scheme.
• It's their duty, his lawyers say, to question agents' competence in recording Blagojevich.
• If Judge James Zagel agrees to uphold prosecutors' motion to ban some of these arguments in court, the jury will think of the Court as an extension of the government, they wrote.
• The defense responded to a government request to bar any testimony or evidence about events after December 5, 2008, when the Chicago Tribune reported Blagojevich's lobbyist and friend John Wyma was recording conversations with the then-governor. The defense suggests the possibility -- though they say they have no evidence of it -- that the government intentionally leaked the information to the Tribune: "A far more effective argument is that the 'leak' came from the government's cup of water, so to speak." In a retort, prosecutors called this argument "absurd" and irrelevant. To read filing, Click here