- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- Sarah Palin’s online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- SWAT spends seven hours in standoff with empty home
Blagojevich motion asks judge to admit tapes
Question of the Day
CHICAGO (AP) — Lawyers for impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Monday filed their second pretrial motion in less than a week — this latest one asking a judge to let them play around 100 excerpts of secret FBI recordings at Blagojevich’s upcoming corruption retrial.
The new motion says the tapes from before Blagojevich’s 2008 arrest show he tried to cut a legal political deal to name Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to President Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat.
Blagojevich will face a retrial in April on 23 charges, including allegations he sought to sell or trade an appointment to Mr. Obama’s seat. At his first trial, jurors deadlocked on all but one count of lying to the FBI.
The motion contends Blagojevich’s multiple references to Ms. Madigan in the recordings counter government assertions that talk of a Madigan deal was merely a ruse to obscure other bids by Blagojevich to profit personally.
The seven-page motion, filed in the U.S. District Court in Chicago, says Blagojevich is heard in the excerpts discussing the idea of appointing Ms. Madigan in exchange for her father, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, pushing a legislative package favored by Blagojevich.
“The calls that form the basis of this motion demonstrate a more complete picture of the Governor’s state of mind with regard to the Madigan appointment and contradict the government’s theory,” the motion says.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago, Kim Nerheim, declined to comment on Monday’s motion.
The two motions come in advance of a Feb. 15 deadline set by presiding Judge James Zagel for filing pretrial motions.
Last week’s motion says a record of a phone call between a top Blagojevich aide and Rahm Emanuel, then Mr. Obama’s designated White House chief of staff — is among allegedly missing evidence. It asks Judge Zagel to order prosecutors to turn over records of the call, saying it would strengthen the former governor’s claim of innocence.
The call allegedly took place just a day before Blagojevich’s Dec. 9, 2008, arrest. His attorneys argue the conversation could support a contention that Mr. Emanuel, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, was willing to help broker the alleged political deal that could have led Blagojevich to appointing Ms. Madigan.
Monday’s motion does not directly mention Mr. Emanuel, who is a candidate in Chicago’s Feb. 22 mayoral election.
The latest motion, however, does say the approximately 100 excerpts help “provide the framework for the importance of the missing December 8, 2008 call” that allegedly involved Mr. Emanuel.
Last week, Mr. Emanuel downplayed Tuesday’s court filing that mentions him, saying he was not concerned about it.
He referred to a “comprehensive review” completed by Mr. Obama’s White House transition team in 2008 that investigated contacts between Obama aides and Blagojevich aides and found “nothing inappropriate or any deal making.”
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- GOP report sees ties between rich donors, green 'nonprofits'
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
- Al Gore's climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
- EDITORIAL: The real Lois Lerner exposed in newly released emails
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world