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Politics

New Defense Motion In Blagojevich Trial

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Rod Blagojevich

Deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks to reporters after his latest guest stint on WLS-AM 890 radio. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 04/04/11 9:01 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – A new defense motion has been issued in the Rod Blagojevich re-trial.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, this latest request comes just over two weeks before jury selection is due to begin in the deposed governor’s second trial.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Blagojevich’s attorneys are asking U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel to order prosecutors to turn over any notes from FBI interviews with President Barack Obama about the corruption case against Blagojevich.

The defense argues that this could go directly to the heart of testimony of several key government witnesses.

The Blagojevich team apparently was referring especially to union leader Tom Balanoff, a longtime Obama ally.

The prosecution contends Blagojevich was trying to sell Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat.

Judge Zagel denied a similar motion before the first trial last year.

Blagojevich will not say whether he intends to testify at his re-trial.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports, Blagojevich says he does not want to play pundit this time around, although he says he remains confident in his court-appointed lawyers, in his chances for acquittal.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

“I have great confidence in them, and I really appreciate their hard work and commitment, and you know, they hadn’t been paid for something like six months, and that they continue to work through all of that is a testament to their belief and their commitment, and their enthusiasm and their idealism,” Blagojevich said.

During his last trial, Blagojevich said he would take the stand, and during opening statements, defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. told jurors the ex-governor would do so. But when the time came, the defense rested without calling witnesses.

Judge Zagel has appeared to indicate that if Blagojevich testifies at his second trial, he may admit more than federal wiretap tapes.

Blagojevich says he still wants all of those tapes made public.

In his first trial last year, Blagojevich was convicted of lying to the FBI, but jurors deadlocked on 23 other counts. Jury selection is scheduled to begin in his retrial on April 20.

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