- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 17, 2009

CHICAGO (AP) | One of Rod R. Blagojevich’s attorneys said Wednesday it was possible the defense could call President Obama to take the witness stand if the corruption charges against the former Illinois governor go to trial, but added that it wasn’t clear that doing so would be necessary.

Defense attorney Samuel E. Adam said after a hearing in the case that it would be “an awesome experience in any career” to question Mr. Obama, who is not accused of any wrongdoing but did answer questions from federal investigators.

Mr. Blagojevich is charged with scheming to sell or trade Mr. Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat, campaign fundraising abuses and other offenses. He has denied wrongdoing.

Blagojevich attorneys have asked U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel to give them an early look at the government’s evidence, including records of interviews with Mr. Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett and two labor backers of Mr. Obama: Thomas Balanoff and Andy Stern.

Judge Zagel indicated he might rule on the request Jan. 27.

Defense attorneys said there was no way to tell whether it would be necessary to question Mr. Obama or whether it would even be allowed. Mr. Adam said, however, that “we might as well get started now” on finding out by getting an early look at the records.

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