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

Blagojevich judge to defense: You're putting the government on trial

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

After defense lawyer Sheldon Sorosky tried to say the government intentionally provoked fear in John Wyma when they issued him a subpoena unrelated to Blagojevich, Judge James Zagel dismissed the jury from the room.

"This is completely irrelevant," Zagel said. "We're taking a break."

Now, turning toward Sorosky, Zagel asked what the defense was trying to prove. Sorosky replied that the government, after issuing a subpoena to Wyma on another issue, spent its first interviews with Wyma discussing Blagojevich instead.

Wyma's cooperation led to a court-issued warrant allowing the first bugs in the case.

"That's a factor that colors his credibility and believability," Sorosky argued.

Zagel replied that it would only possibly be relevant if it were true and if the prosecutors were on trial. Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton protested that Sorosky's version of events was "just wrong," and that the defense knew it. Zagel said the defense could file a complaint with the U.S. Attorney's office if they wanted to.

"With all due respect, Your Honor, I'm not putting the government on trial," Sorosky said.

"Oh yes you are," Zagel replied, his tenor rising. "There is a venue for doing that. It's not this trial and it's not this court. Do not do that again."

A clearly agitated Zagel said the defense was trying to falsely mislead the jury. Dismissing the lawyers for a break, the defense said they'll cross-examine Wyma for at most another half hour.

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2 Comments

Well, Rod, Raham, and Barack (Fitz's) boss were a powerful trio in Illinois Government. Maybe they all should be on trial? How else to untangle this trio's embrace in the strange dance they did? What's Sorosky to do?

maybe if they had gone from that to saying, that maybe the government was trying to, but the way it was done could inducing lying. You'd really have to know why the government went after them, I'm sure the defense is right, but you could never prove it, the G would deny it, but they do it in other criminal case all the time, I don't have a problem with it, it gets results, but it could lead to lies.
In all honesty I am against plea deals(they are inherently unjust, though the question is whether they are a necessary injustice), because most rational people would take a deal where they got immunity even if it meant they had to lie or embellish a little if they were more likely to go to jail if they didn't.(it is irrelevant whether they are guilty or not) Very rarely does the government go after witness's(their) for perjury, unless it is blatantly obvious such as they have it on tape that they admit lying, vs they are more then happy to go to trial with circumstantial evidence or with someones word if you stand against them.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 16, 2011 11:35 AM.

Defense lawyer to witness: "What does 'f--- 'em' mean?" was the previous entry in this blog.

Defense lawyer to Wyma: You 'elected to be a spy against your friend' is the next entry in this blog.

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