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.