Rod Blagojevich Asks To Have His Conviction Thrown Out

Rod R. Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, wants a federal judge to throw out his conviction for lying to federal agents, the single count the jury found him guilty of in August.

In a lengthy legal motion filed here on Monday, Mr. Blagojevich suggested that the case against him was flawed from start to finish, arguing that the prosecution had been “tainted by misconduct and questionable ethical standards,” that the trial itself had been unfair and that the charge of making false statements, in particular, had been flawed.

The very manner in which prosecutors brought this case to trial before the court was dishonest, improper and constituted ‘judge shopping. It kick-started the prosecutors’ win-at-any-cost tactics.”

— Blagojevich's Motion

Rod Blagojevich's lawyers are asking that his sole conviction be tossed, claiming he did not get a fair trial.

In a motion filed this week, attorneys say that Blagojevich's Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights were violated.

They've asked that U.S. District Judge James Zagel throw out the sole count Blagojevich was convicted of: lying to the FBI.

Jurors deliberating in the case were deadlocked on 23 other counts against him. The conviction carries a maximum sentence of five years.

Lawyers for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich have asked the judge who presided over his trial to throw out his conviction for lying to the FBI, alleging that a "plethora of errors" led to the jury's guilty verdict on the lone count.

The defense contended prosecutors brought an overly complicated case that confused the jury, then tried to limit his lawyers at every turn. Questioning of witnesses by the ex-governor's lawyers often was stopped by government objections and lectures from U.S. District Judge James Zagel.

"To be sure, the burden was on the government and the defendant had no obligation to put on a case," the defense motion said. "However, the defendant's fundamental right to defend himself through cross-examination was stomped upon by obstructionist (and continuous) objections that were sustained by the Court."