Judge unseals prosecutors documents in case against Rod Blagojevich
A newly released government document says former Gov.
Rod Blagojevich "repeatedly expressed an interest in personally profiting" from naming a successor to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama on his election as president in the fall of 2008.
"Despite repeated warnings from others that he could not personally profit in any way, Blagojevich continued to suggest methods in which he could personally profit from the naming of a senator," prosecutors wrote.
The document alleged that the former governor told a high-ranking aide, "Now is the time for me to put my (expletive) children and wife first, for a change."
Just as Barack Obama was elected president, Rod R. Blagojevich, whose job it was as governor of Illinois to appoint Mr. Obama’s replacement to the United States Senate, began a frenetic, dizzying campaign to get something — an administration post, more than a million dollars, a high-paying job — in exchange for the appointment, a document released Wednesday by federal prosecutors suggests.
The 91-page filing, made public as Mr. Blagojevich’s June 3 trial on charges including racketeering approaches, offers the most extensive details yet of what prosecutors say was the former governor’s effort to sell the appointment. In one of hundreds of telephone calls secretly recorded by federal authorities, some of which were described for the first time in the filing, Mr. Blagojevich complained to an ally on Election Day in 2008 that Mr. Blagojevich’s own “upward trajectory” was stalled because of Mr. Obama’s victory, and that “now is the time” for him to put his family first, “for a change.”
The government's case against Rod Blagojevich was released Wednesday. But, who has the time desire to read through a 91-page legal doc. Let's just go with the juiciest bits.
As for whether it's all true? Well. Only if you trust a well-financed government team of legal experts who've devoted the last two years of their lives to investigating state corruption. Or, alternative! You can believe the guy who lost a game show to Brett Michaels.
So. Let's dive in.
Prosecutors on Tuesday scoffed at a request by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers to keep a government blueprint of the evidence against him sealed, saying the defense’s claim that it could taint the jury pool is undermined by Blagojevich’s repeated claims on television that he’s innocent.
In a court filing, prosecutors defended their so-called Santiago proffer as an accurate account of the evidence against the impeached governor as U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel prepared to decide whether it should be unsealed and if so, whether parts should be deleted.
“Notwithstanding the recent airing of a national television show in which he repeatedly claimed his innocence, Rod Blagojevich now argues that he would be unfairly prejudiced by the publication of the actual evidence that will be heard at his trial,” the prosecutors said.
Blagojevich is charged with scheming to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat and using the power of the governor’s office to illegally pressure campaign contributors.
His brother, businessman Robert Blagojevich, is charged with helping him.
Both have pleaded not guilty and their trial is scheduled to start June 3.