Blagojevich attorneys request tapes, Judge James Zagel, Off limits wiretaps, 2 percent played touch Obama
“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“Why did the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee, with Obama as chairman, create and push Bill 1332, “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” early in 2003, which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, just prior to rigging by Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich
From NBC Chicago November 25, 2011.
“Blago Attorneys Want Off-Limits Tapes Heard”
“While most Chicagoans were feasting on their own Thanksgiving dinners, convicted former Governor Rod Blagojevich and his family gathered for what was likely one of the former governor’s last holidays at home before he begins serving a term in federal prison.
At the same time, his lawyers were filing the legal equivalent of a Hail Mary as Blagojevich’s sentencing date approaches.
Blagojevich and his attorneys have asked Judge James Zagel for permission to reference portions of until-now confidential undercover recordings. The tapes were previously branded off-limits by Zagel in April of 2009.
“The defense does not seek to play any wiretap recordings in their entirety,” the lawyers wrote. “The brief excerpts of recordings or transcripts that Mr. Blagojevich is seeking to play in court and to reference in his written sentencing submission…do not involve sensitive, personal, or embarrassing comments about, or references to, any individuals.”
The lawyers reference over 150 tapes. While most involve conversations between Blagojevich and his advisors, at least one features the former governor speaking with his wife and daughters. Several involve then-congressman Rahm Emanuel, and still another feature luminaries as diverse as former school board chief Gery Chico, former alderman Ed Smith, and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.”
From Citizen Wells July 18, 2011.
“Rod Blagojevich and his lawyers have long complained that prosecutors and the judge in his two trials were fundamentally unfair, but after his sweeping corruption conviction Monday, only a successful appeal built on that belief stands between the former governor and a possible double-digit prison sentence.
From early denials of Blagojevich’s demands to “play all the tapes” in his case, to U.S. District Judge James Zagel’s limiting of the former governor’s defense at his retrial, Blagojevich has always felt handcuffed, said one of his lawyers, Sam Adam Jr.”
“The appeal will likely argue that in both trials, the judge unfairly barred the defense from playing many undercover recordings critical to its case, severely limited cross-examination of government witnesses and allowed too many jurors who professed bias onto the panel, Adam said.
The government was allowed to play at trial more than 90 of the secretly made recordings of Blagojevich, Adam said, while the defense was allowed just four.
“The jury only got to hear one side of the tapes,” Adam said. “If you do that, you’re going to guarantee a conviction.”
In a mistrial motion filed June 9 as closing arguments were under way, the team of defense lawyers at the retrial accused Zagel of bias and having a “closed mind” on the evidence.”
“The Federal rules on discovery are crystal clear.
“Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure”
“IV. ARRAIGNMENT AND PREPARATION FOR TRIAL > Rule 16.
Rule 16. Discovery and Inspection
(a) Government’s Disclosure.
(1) Information Subject to Disclosure.”
“(B) Defendant’s Written or Recorded Statement.
Upon a defendant’s request, the government must disclose to the defendant, and make available for inspection, copying, or photographing, all of the following:
(i) any relevant written or recorded statement by the defendant if:
•the statement is within the government’s possession, custody, or control; and
•the attorney for the government knows — or through due diligence could know — that the statement exists;”
Only 2 percent of the wiretaps were released. From that small amount we learn the following.