Reporting with Lark Turner
The day may have finally come.
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who for years has maintained his innocence and insisted he's wanted to testify to it under oath, is set to take the witness stand this morning, according to his lawyer.
"He's prepared to testify tomorrow," lawyer Sheldon Sorosky said late Wednesday.
Those close to Blagojevich had said since last week that the former governor had been prepping to take the stand. His preparation continued over the weekend and has been more extensive this trial than the last.
But Blagojevich backed out at the last minute last trial.
This time, things are different. The prosecution put on a more slimmed down case, but it was more focused.
It didn't help that one of the defense's own witnesses on Wednesday turned around and accused Blagojevich of trying to shake him down. Nor did it help that U.S. District Judge James Zagel refused to allow the defense to play most tapes unless Blagojevich took the stand.
Sorosky says Blagojevich will take the stand in the morning, likely starting off with some biographical testimony, then perhaps moving to the allegations involving Rahm Emanuel and a school grant. He suggested that there could be more discussions involving tapes in the afternoon and that jurors could be sent home early.
Attorney Aaron Goldstein will question Blagojevich on direct examination. Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar is expected to question Blagojevich on cross examination, which isn't likely to happen until next week.