Rod Blagojevich's Lawyers Ask for Case to be Dismissed (Trial Day 4)

Attorneys for former Illinois Gov.

Rod Blagojevich filed motions to dismiss the corruption case against him on First Amendment grounds before opening statements were set to begin Tuesday.

"The prosecution criminalizes Blagojevich's constitutionally-protected right to free speech as part of the political process," the motion says.

Lawyers for ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have asked a federal judge to throw out corruption charges against him, saying they violate his freedom of speech.

Blagojevich's lawyers filed the motion Tuesday only hours before the expected start of opening statements in his corruption trial.

Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama's former Senate seat and pressure people for campaign contributions.

Opening statements in the federal criminal trial of embattled former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich are set to begin Tuesday.

The trial could feature White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Both have been subpoenaed as witnesses in the case, according to a senior administration official.

"This is as I've said before, a historic day...the evidence will finally start to come out...we're very excited about finally getting the truth out" a seemingly joyful Rod Blagojevich told the media this morning, the first day of his trial on corruption charges.

The former Illinois Governor was trying to get his words out in a few different ways. In addition to talking at the cluster of microphones set up inside the federal courthouse, he's also been "tweeting" details under the name "GovernorRod". But that could now be coming to an end. Judge James Zagel admonished Blago about talking and tweeting too much, saying "there is a risk with repeated public statements" and that anything he says can be used against him in court. Lawyers began opening statements this afternoon.

He’s broke. He’s broke. You know why he’s broke, ladies and gentlemen? It’s not hard. He didn’t take a dime.”

— Sam Adams, Rod Blagojevich's Attorney