Rod Blagojevich sentencing, December 6, 2011, Judge James B. Zagel, 10:00 AM, Courtroom 2503 (JBZ), Tapes motion denied, John Wyma Testimony?
“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich
“Why has the Blagojevich defense team been denied access to the government wiretaps?”…Citizen Wells
Rod Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois, is scheduled for sentencing next Tuesday, December 6, 2011 in the courtroom of Judge James B Zagel.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 (As of 11/29/11 at 05:47:57 AM
Honorable James B. Zagel Courtroom 2503 (JBZ)
1:08-cr-00888 USA v. Blagojevich 10:00 Sentencing
Once again the Blagojevich defense team has been denied access to over 150 wiretaps. Of course this means we have been denied access as well.
From the Chicago Tribune November 28, 2011.
“Judge denies Blagojevich request to hear new tapes”
“The federal judge who will sentence Rod Blagojevich had harsh words for the former Illinois governor’s attorneys as he denied a request Monday to play new federal wiretap tapes in court.
Blagojevich was convicted at two separate trials on 18 corruption counts, including allegations he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat. Blagojevich will be sentenced next week, and his lawyers last week submitted a list of 180 secret tape recordings the FBI made of the governor and others.
Parts of some recordings were played during his trials, but Blagojevich has long argued that authorities should “play all the tapes.” He says some of the recordings hold evidence demonstrating his innocence.
But Judge James Zagel said Blagojevich’s attorneys hadn’t said what they specifically wanted to prove and what sections of the tapes they wanted to use, echoing complaints made by federal prosecutors.
“What this motion requests is my blind approval of the use of whatever excerpts it decides are relevant to `lack of ill intent’ and admissible … at sentencing,” Zagel said. “That request is denied.””
“The judge scheduled a Friday hearing on another Blagojevich request related to a government witness, John Wyma. Blagojevich’s attorneys are questioning whether Wyma helped the government “in exchange for a government benefit.” Prosecutors denied that allegation at trial.”
From the Chicago SunTimes November 28, 2011.
“Blago’s lawyers want hearing based on new John Wyma information”
“Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers are asking for a special hearing to discuss what they say is new information regarding a key witness at the former governor’s trial.
They are asking U.S. District Judge James Zagel for an evidentiary hearing regarding the testimony of onetime Blagojevich friend and lobbyist John Wyma, arguing they weren’t allowed to properly cross examine him at trial. It was Wyma’s cooperation in 2008 that led to FBI wiretaps against the now-convicted ex-governor.
In a weekend filing, lawyers questioned whether the government properly vetted information against Wyma that was provided by a cooperating Tony Rezko. Rezko, a onetime fund-raiser to Blagojevich convicted on 16 counts of corruption, was sentenced to 10 ½ years last week.
In filings regarding Rezko’s sentencing, Wyma’s cooperation with the government is discussed, including that Rezko told prosecutors that he tried to extract a campaign contribution through Wyma from Provena Health, whom Wyma represented as a lobbyist at the time.
Lawyers question whether bribery was involved when Provena was granted a certificate of need from an Illinois hospital board. Rezko told prosecutors in private sessions that Provena had a dispute with someone on the hospital board and resolved it by paying the board member, according to the Blagojevich defense filing. Prosecutors say the charge was unsubstantiated.
“Blagojevich did not have any knowledge about and was absolutely unaware of the Provena activities of Rezko and Wyma,” the filing says.
It says after Rezko gave the information to prosecutors, Wyma was hit with a subpoena.
“Shortly after Wyma received this grand jury subpoena, he agreed to be, and became, an informant for the government. This allowed the government to obtain a wiretap on Blagojevich’s telephones,” lawyers wrote.
After the taps were secured, Blagojevich’s lawyers said, prosecutors deemed Rezko’s information “not substantiated.”
“If the incriminating evidence against Wyma was not substantiated because it was not investigated, the government’s statement is misleading,” defense lawyers wrote.
Provena officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Blagojevich’s lawyer, Shelly Sorosky, said the new information was based on filings before Rezko’s sentencing, where both sides agree Rezko’s cooperation led the government to Wyma.”