Click to view picture: Patti Blagojevich delivers an emotional statement after court
Reporting with Natasha Korecki
A visibly upset Patti Blagojevich delivered an emotional statement after court today, saying she was outraged at what she called "a deliberate attempt to hide the truth" after the government consistently objected to (and Judge James Zagel sustained) many of the defense's questions in cross-examination.
"I almost want to cry," Patti said as she stood beside her husband. "I'm no lawyer, but I thought the whole idea of this was to get the truth to come out, and that's clearly not what's happening here."
Zagel forbid the defense to ask many of their questions, only overruling a few of the prosecution's dozens and dozens of objections. The questions, Zagel said, were in "implicit violation" of his earlier rulings on what's allowed in court and went beyond the scope of prosecutors' questioning. The defense is free to call the witnesses up again if they want to ask some of those questions, he said, but warned them that if they continued to ask those types of questions he would 'sit them down' in court.
"I'm coming very close to sitting you down," Zagel warned Goldstein in a tense courtroom moment. "Don't do this."
The warning came after Goldstein asked SEIU leader Tom Balanoff if, in his conversation with Valerie Jarrett pertaining to Blagojevich's request for a cabinet appointment, he conveyed that Blagojevich wanted "one for the other." Then he asked if Balanoff went to authorities after their exchange.
Prosecutor Reid Schar shot up with an objection and Zagel made clear Goldstein was treading on dangerous water.
Zagel already hinted he wasn't liking the questioning before that exchange.
"If this is about the end of your cross, you can sit down now," Zagel told him.
"It isn't," Goldstein said simply, and continued questioning.
When Zagel talked to lawyers after the jury left the courtroom, he became stern and told the defense their questioning was consistently improper and was "implicitly -- and now explicitly -- in violation of my order."
Goldstein asked if he could reply. Zagel cut him off, telling him he'd ruled this way before and he didn't plan on repeating it.
"I want you to understand it and I don't want you to reply to it now," Zagel said. Then, with emphasis: "I want you to comply with it."