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Monday, April 4, 2011

Blago is Back; Former Illinois Governor Again seeks Obama Interview Notes

It's almost hard to believe that Rod Blagojevich's retrial is less than three weeks away. It looks like Blago's going to make another attempt to get the judge to release the minutes of a lengthy meeting Obama had with the Feds shortly after Blagojevich was arrested on December 9, 2009. For those who followed the first trial, there seemed to be plenty of testimony that indicated Obama's involvement may have been more than what we were told.

Via the AP:
CHICAGO (AP) -- Rod Blagojevich asked a judge Monday to order the government to hand over notes of any FBI interviews with President Barack Obama about the ousted Illinois governor's corruption case, a request that comes less than three weeks before Blagojevich's retrial is set to begin.

The request for the notes related to Obama, who has never been accused of any wrongdoing in the matter, came in a motion filed with the U.S. District Court in Chicago. Presiding Judge James Zagel rejected a similar request before Blagojevich's first trial last year.

Blagojevich, 54, faces 20 charges, including allegations that sought to sell or trade an appointment to Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat for a top job or campaign cash. Jurors at his first trial deadlocked on all but one count, convicting him on a lone count of lying to the FBI. His retrial is scheduled to start on April 20.

In the motion, the defense says the notes could "go directly to the heart of testimony of several government witnesses," particularly that of Chicago-based union leader and longtime Obama ally Tom Balanoff. He told jurors during the first trial that he talked to Obama about the Senate seat on the eve of the 2008 president election.
In addition to the testimony that raised eyebrows about Obama's level of involvement, Blago's motion to subpoena Obama was heavily redacted during the first trial. A software glitch, however, allowed the entire document to be read on the internet. The redacted portions also seemed to indicate Obama was more aware of what was going on than has been portrayed.

Read it all.

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