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

Lawyers appear to be gagged in #Blagojevich case

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Reporting with Lark Turner

There appears to be a gag on lawyers in the Rod Blagojevich corruption case.

Since last week -- and after the jury got the case -- there have been four sealed filings in the case and lawyers tied to the trial who usually freely discuss it are now keeping their mouths tightly shut.

The filings came after media appearances by onetime Blagojevich attorney Sam Adam Jr. who last week, during jury deliberations, went on TV and radio predicting "20 not guilty verdicts" for his onetime client.

The sealed filings began from the prosecution and go back and forth with the defense. "SEALED RESPONSE to sealed document," and so on.

The first of the filings came on June 15th, the day after Sam Adam Jr's appearance on FOX. Adam is no longer on the trial -- but he still has an appearance on file in the case. On June 13, Blagojevich lawyers Lauren Kaeseberg and Aaron Goldstein both appeared on "Chicago Tonight," a public television political show.

There have been no subsequent media appearances by any of those lawyers (with the exception of prerecorded interviews). The defense team, which had been waiting on the verdict inside the courthouse, has moved elsewhere to wait.

On June 16, lawyers were summoned to U.S. District Judge James Zagel's chambers for a private meeting. Also in the courthouse was Adam. Afterward, the typically talkative Adam would not answer questions about the Blagojevich case. A few times when asked a question, he'd put his hand over his mouth.

"I MUST decline to comment," Adam repeatedly said. "I cannot tell you why."

Another defense lawyer, Michael Ettinger, who also still has an appearance on file in the case -- and typically answers questions about the trial -- responded today: "I cannot comment at this time," when asked about strategy in the case.

A U.S. Attorney's spokesman also had no comment on whether there was a gag order.

Last year, during Blagojevich's first trial, prosecutors asked Zagel to gag Blagojevich after he was commenting on witnesses' testimony. Zagel declined to do it.

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While it is true that he is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, he is being singled out for pay to play because he stepped on the toes of other politicians (Madigan/Obama) who have connections to people with deep pockets. Corruption and greed in business and politics is pervasive in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois as well as the rest of the country. However, people no longer want to pay the taxes to prosecute all of these cases.

"this is all the corruption they could come up with in Chicago"

Exactly! It's common knowledge to all Americans that Chicago is filled with political corruption. Why aren't the true criminals being rooted out? Why isn't the whole system being monitored the way Blago was? It's sad that the defense just reacted to the prosecution's case rather than going tape by tape and putting the proper emphasis on each tape. Now that would have effectively swayed the jury- it does me. When I listen to the tapes I hear the overall idea that he wants to ensure his actions are within the law. His crass language is sad but still, just talk.

Hmmm...sounds like a story WLS-AM reported LAST WEEK....

Stunning development, but does any of the following have any meaning to gag order?
Tony Rezko's partner Daniel T. Frawley is suing his lawyer George E. Weaver in Cook County Civil Court case #10-L-7986 and plenty is spilling on the deposition floor...We­aver's lawyer makes mentions of payments from Rezko to Obama and a $1.5 millon dollar payment from Frawley to Rezko.
Is this why Rezko never made it to Blago's trial?
Obama used emissary Tom Balanoff to deliver his Senate wish...The fed's dropped 4 of the 24 charges, not to simplify the case but to avoid implicatin­g or even mentioning Obama's name.
John Thomas an FBI informant documented and reported then Senator Obama going in and out of the office of Tony Rezko...It was more than just a strip of land.

Rod will go to prison. Then, hopefully he meets another rod.

He's GUILTY of all of the charges.

There was so much interference by the court with its denying phone recordings, manipulating evidence, coercion against witnesses and denying evidence that the jury understands this case, as do all Chicagoans.

It is the prosecution of a political enemy so relatives could get the governorship.

No crime was committed so they played hours of embarrassing audio with Blago joking and bragging, but nothign criminal. It was an attempt to prejudice the jury.

The jury knew better and knows Blago is a genuinely nice guy who stands up against corporations.

With Rahm making 14 million in two years after leaving the White House, if this is all the corruption they could come up with in Chicago, the Feds are much dumber than I thought.


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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 23, 2011 10:28 AM.

Day 9 of #Blagojevich jury deliberations begin. Observers done guessing. was the previous entry in this blog.

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