Blagojevich Trial To Resume On Wednesday

Updated 05/20/11 – 6:45 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — No testimony was heard and jurors were not present Friday in the retrial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, but there were plenty of developments from the defense team.

Blagojevich’s attorneys met with the judge Friday morning to discuss their strategy and a list of potential witnesses.

Originally, the defense was told to be ready to begin on Monday, but late Friday afternoon, the Clerk of the Court announced that there would be no trial on Monday and the trial would resume on Wednesday. U.S. District Judge James Zagel already had a prior commitment for Tuesday, so the trial was already taking that day off.

Earlier in the day, prosecutors and defense attorneys met in Zagel’s courtroom to discuss a number of procedural matters. Much of the time, though, Zagel and defense attorneys spoke in private about Blagojevich’s defense plan and a list of potential witnesses.

Zagel told prosecutors that he didn’t want the defense to have to reveal any surprises they might have in their arsenal.

After court, defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky would not reveal the names of any witnesses he planned to call, but indicated some of them include potential witnesses the defense subpoenaed for the first trial.

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“In theory, we’ll have witnesses to testify … if we could get these witnesses in, because they’re all prominent people and have difficult schedules and activities,” Sorosky said. “All these witnesses have been subpoenaed for the first trial, so all these prominent people whose names you’ve heard, they have all been subpoenaed, they’re all under subpoena, they all know they’re under subpoena. They may not realize it because they were subpoenaed a year and a half ago and probably forgot it.”

Sorosky declined to say if Blagojevich himself would take the stand, but defense attorneys have been preparing the former governor to testify and are strongly considering calling him to the stand.

He did concede that jurors “might feel cheated” if they don’t hear from Blagojevich.

Before the first trial, defense attorneys subpoenaed U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was then White House chief of staff. All three were alleged targets of Blagojevich’s alleged shakedown attempts.

For the first trial, defense attorneys also subpoenaed U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Blagojevich has claimed he was trying to get help from Durbin and Reid to arrange a legal political deal to appoint Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to the U.S. Senate in exchange for her father, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, passing the governor’s legislative agenda in Springfield.

But the subpoenas do not necessarily mean any of those people will be called to testify. At the last trial, Blagojevich did not present any evidence or call any witnesses in his defense.

Sorosky said his witness list consists of roughly 10 names, but no new subpoenas have been issued since the first trial.

Defense attorneys also must decide what, if any, of Blagojevich’s secretly recorded conversations they will play for the jury in order to prove their case that Blagojevich did nothing wrong.

At the first trial, Blagojevich’s attorneys sought to play some 38 tapes that were not played by prosecutors, but Zagel allowed them only about a dozen. Sorosky hinted that their list of tapes might be shorter for the second trial, considering the prosecution streamlined its case for the retrial, focusing on five alleged shakedown schemes and largely ignoring a number of other allegations covered at the first trial.

“We only have five topics in this case as opposed to in excess of 10 in the last case,” Sorosky said. “So, therefore, obviously just as the government played fewer tapes in that regard … we probably would have fewer tapes to present.”

Sorosky noted that it’s more difficult for the defense to get tapes in at trial, because they must show that the conversations prove Blagojevich’s intentions or show his state of mind in regard to the allegations in the case.

The defense will also ask Zagel to drop some of the charges in the indictment against Blagojevich, as not every allegation in the indictment was discussed at trial.

“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.

Attorneys also plan to go over proposed jury instructions next week.

The defense has said they expect their case to last three or four days, which would mean the case could go to the jury by the end of May.

–Todd Feurer, CBS 2 Web Producer

  • Joe Doakes

    When the recordings become public it will change everything.

  • Bloodaxe

    This nasty little weasel will get away with everything. He no doubt has lots of dirt on other people and in order to save their own hides they’ll let this creep off.

    • Constitution

      These beings are without honor, have no credentials to recommend themselves to Americans (we now know thanks to the guy in the OO that they no longer need to give us legitimate credentials) and certainly none we can see to recommend themselves to their creator. They are merely part of the hordes of tyrants of various levels that we American citizens have allowed and enabled to represent us. They know that, and move forward with impunity. It’s simply up to voters to place people of honor in representative offices or to be “too busy” and hide behind crowds of those who speak the language PC instead of English. Remember what is said at weddings… “Do you take this man/woman to be YOUR”… “Speak now or forever hold your peace”… – THOSE VOWS should be posted at every election site. This marriage was sealed by the voters and the next Hearings are just Divorce proceedings, and the next pounding of the Gavel will confirm that. Why bother and bring in the lawyers? Further, “voters” have already placed another “city planner” in Daley’s seat… and nobody dared stop “them” from removing Chicago’s so called beloved Irish ancestry Mayor Daley. Chicagoans are afraid of the politicians and get their pride from their arenas… Da Bulls, Da Cubbies, and seem to fear speaking too loudly for winners like Da White Sox…. maybe if that name is reduced, it will be easier for them to cheer some winners and stay hiding in their PC box mentality. No, the Blagger like the Bummer will endure some bruises but will escape to fight for your vote another day.

    • Harry Kobetitsch

      Along with Obama and JJackson

    • Joe Doakes

      It’s called a Presidential Pardon.

    • Hugh

      This is a nest of nasty weasels, some long, some little. These weasels all have fleas deep in their fur.

  • thetruth

    obama needs to be a witness as he sold blago out

    the justice dept is protecting obama

    he is a fake and a fraud

  • Bunny

    Obama corruption in the highest form.

  • libby gilmore

    Nice intelligent comment, re: Buckwheat. Dislike Obama all you want, but bringing race into any issue just shows you for what you likely are – an uneducated, low-class white trash citizen. I am white, by the way.
    Race has nothing to do with the Blagojevich trial.

    • Harry Kobetitsch

      Yeah it does. Jackson, Obama, Madigan. How Nieve can you be. Where the hell did you get edicated? The Obama Bin Laden School of History????

  • LibsAreCommies

    Every single thing Obama gets near is somehow dirty, underhanded or illegal, and yet he is teflon. Clearly his DOJ and the Lying Liberal Media are protecting him once again here.


  • healthywannabe

    wait till Blago SINGS loud and clear and it comes out that obama hussein HIMSELF had a PERSONAL part in this saga as well as deadfish emanual, et al….Blago was set up as higher ‘fish’ wanted the seat to go to someone “specific”…..hope blago has GOOD protection, because if I were him I wouldn’t trust the bigger fish (obama, et al) to see something happens to blago like he commits suicide with his hands tied behind his back….remember vince (re: hillary)……this won’t be over till the fat lady sings and in this case that would be blago proving he’s not guilty as he’s said all along….SING BLAGO SING!!

    • Constitution

      Not a chance for the Blagger to off himself… unless… remember the guy who “suicided himself” and greeted people coming to work one morning dangling by a rope out of a Michigan Avenue office? Apparently he, a “published author who was working on some kind of mob expose book or similar” kicked over the crate box stamped Grapes or something when he went out the window “at the end of his rope” and made his final complaint. Then there was the “troublesome” sick-of-this-job school executive found floating in the famous river close to the time of the grape box guy’s demise. It’s so hard for Da Chicagoans to figure out these things… but maybe even more difficult to figure out what to do about them. Cheer on!

    • suzanne

      That’s exactly my thought. He’s another Vince Foster.

    • jburkovi

      Your dreaming. Blogos doing what he did the first time, distract the country for Obama all the while planning not to say ANYTHING.

  • tioggg

    They dont seem to be the brightest bulbs in the pack!

  • Fanny Forbes Franklen

    “The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.” ~ Clarence Darrow


  • Larry

    Blago says he wanted to appoint Lisa in exchange for getting his legislative agenda passed? Hahahahahaaa. That’s hilarious. Lie more, Blago. Clown.

  • Ed

    Play All The Tapes! Make the crooks testify! Go Blago!

  • Ed

    anyone wonder how much of this trial is related to Islam? Think about it. Blago is Serbian extraction. You know that Serbia traditionally defended Europe against Moslem hordes and recently was involved with wars against them- which included atrocities on all sides. Clinton sided with the Islamists and criminal KLA and bombed the Serbs, and also bombed the Chinese Embassy for some reason. Obama has obvious tendency towards Islam and encouraged to give Kosovo over to Islamists. He also would harbor a grudge against Serbs and consider a Serb politician a threat to his Chicago Machine….just wondering.

  • wildbill6996

    Is old Blago going to discus EXACTLY how much contact he had with the CHOSEN ONE on the SALE of his old senate seat, and how the spoils got split??? The CHOSEN ONE said there was NO CONTACT, which flies in the face of LOGIC.. The people of Chicago turn around and ELECT Rahm, go figure !!!!!!!!

    • Constitution

      ELECTED Rahm? Nah. Smoking Mirrors? (smoke & mirrors) Hey, what happened to that Lawyer J. Christian Adams, the whistleblower on the “lady” head of the lawyers who told those lawyers that if a complaint suit came in where the perp was black and the victim was white they were not to make a case out of the complaint. Involved the New Black Panthers. Did they melt or just change name? Were they helping encourage votes for Rahm, the pal of their organizer/director Big Daddy? Nah. Like proving Big Daddy’s place of popping in on the planet, spins can adjust votes. Wish J. Christian Adams would offer himself as candidate for Presidency. Now there would be an interesting election… he has already shown his Sterling Credentials to the American citizenry, proved committed support for our laws and Constitution, and would be an excellent President. Will somebody get him on the Republican Platform? He’s a winner. Would scare Rahm and Big Daddy a whole lot… and Americans would know a candidate who is a man of his word.

  • ustserv

    There is no way to get the slime out of slime.

  • Hank Warren

    Chicago crime syndicate, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

    • Mike-N-TN

      I don’t know about Ron Paul. He doesn’t seem to have a plan for mopping up the mess at hand with the foreign policy issues that have brought us to where we are. But you are right on every account in your post. I can’t deny that.

  • Will Blago call Rahm, Harry, Valerie, Jesse? | The Daily Conservative

    […] (First column, 2nd story, link) Related stories: Blagojevich plans to call ‘prominent people’ to stand… […]

  • raybojabo

    Blago needs to call Harrison J Bounel Google him.

  • News round-up for May 20, 2011 « UP/News Report: First the Facts

    […] Who will Blago call as witnesses? […]

  • Harry Kobetitsch

    And that gos for Obama and the rest of Illinois democrats.

  • Harry Kobetitsch

    No…it’s not that bad…it’s worse….think Woodrow Wilson or Herbert Hoover.

  • extrapita

    Maybe Pat Fitzgerald should testify how is it he can personally decide Obama and Rhamn were not involved in the deal, when they were his bosses. He decides they are clean and he gets reappointed. Pay for play? The conflict is so obvious yet no one in the media will even ask about it.
    It gets really interesting when you consider the government informant (wyma) was the person who told blago all he would get was appreciation. Funny that neither Rhamn nor Obama said it themselves.
    Oh ya, and when exactly did the FBI inform the Obama and Rhamn about the recordings and investigation. Most importantly, why?

  • VigVee

    lol, the Kangaroo Courts really crack me up sometimes lol.

  • JuanValdez

    Is it possible to turn on the Obama mafia and get away with it? I think Blago has a real story to tell, and proof to back it up, but I don’t think we will ever hear it.

  • Patty

    Sounds like Blago is upping the ante. It seems to me that he is playing for hush money to tiide Patty & kids over while he is in prison. Don’t expect any of them to ever take the stand. They will pay their way out.

    Remember, one of Eric Holder’s first task was to visit with Patrick Fitzgerald. No one will go down with Blago. He is the sacrifical lamb.

  • Joe cannato

    Lock this goofy looking turd up.

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