Rod Blagojevich's defense team will be calling witnesses who were subpoenaed in the last trial and "whose names you have heard," defense lawyer Sheldon Sorosky said Friday morning. He gave no hints as to who those prominent people might be.
Sorosky said earlier there's about 10 potential witnesses on the defense's list. He left open the possibility that Blagojevich will testify.
"In theory, we'll have witnesses to testify on Monday if we could get these witnesses in, because they're all prominent people and have difficult schedules," he said after a court hearing Friday morning where most of the discussion took place in sidebars with U.S. District Judge James Zagel. "Everyone has schedules, and undoubtedly I believe most of these witnesses and their lawyers thought the government case would go longer than it did."
The prosecution and defense also briefly touched on potential jury instructions in the hearing, which they'll discuss in depth on Monday. Though the defense team said yesterday their case could take about three days, Sorosky acknowledged it could be longer.
He briefly discussed strategy, saying that unlike the prosecution, the defense has a harder time putting in tapes because what they elect to play has to get at Blagojevich's intentions or 'state of mind.'
"We cannot cherrypick and say, 'hey, that's a great tape,'" he said. Sorosky chalks up Blagojevich's conversations to unremarkable political posturing. "The fundamental real defense here is, this is not a crime."
With the prosecution's case wrapped up, the defense will be asking Zagel to drop some of the charges in the prosecution's indictment of Blagojevich.
"There were a number of topics in the indictment that the government never mentioned, and our hope would be that the judge would dismiss those, but that has yet to be decided by the judge," Sorosky said.