Judge in Rod Blagojevich Trial Denies Defense's Request for Mistrial

I don't know if I've ever seen a motion for a mistrial based on objections”

— Judge James Zagel

Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attorneys continue to fight – and lose – in their battle over courtroom strategy with U.S. District Judge James Zagel.

For weeks, Zagel has sustained objections to their questions and occasionally instructed them on how to ask proper questions. Today, the defense tried to strike back, filing an 11-page motion requesting a mistrial based on Zagel’s actions.

“Defense counsel has been systematically prevented from engaging in meaningful cross-examination by unwarranted sustaining of objections,” the motion said. “The result is the deprivation of a fair trial and a mistrial is warranted.”

"Defense counsel has been systematically prevented from engaging in meaningful cross-examination by unwarranted sustaining of objections," Blagojevich's lawyers wrote in the filing. "The result is the deprivation of a fair trial and a mistrial is warranted."

They also complained about Zagel's comments in front of jurors, citing one remark from Zagel: "Don't do that, now we‟re getting into the mind-reading of the prosecution."