Prosecutors in Rod Blagojevich case file new details under court seal
Federal prosecutors have filed a key document laying out their corruption case against former Gov.
Rod Blagojevich out of the public eye — at least for now.
Such a filing is typically made part of the public record in the weeks before the start of a trial. Jury selection is set to begin June 3 for Blagojevich and his brother, Robert.
But in a brief public filing to explain their actions, prosecutors said they have filed the new document under seal so U.S. District Judge James Zagel and the defense can first decide if any portions should stay under wraps. Prosecutors said they acted out of "an abundance of caution." A pool of prospective jurors is expected to be asked through the mail shortly whether they can sit for a trial that is likely to last four or more months.
Prosecutors requested permission Monday to file a document outlining their corruption case against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich under seal in order to keep evidence secret.
They apparently acted in an effort to prevent the defense from claiming later that potential jurors were prejudiced by the release of explosive evidence only two months before the trial was to start.
The government said in its three-paragraph request to the court it was acting "in an abundance of caution" to allow the defense and the judge to review the evidence before potential jurors could hear about it through the news media.