'I'm no Tony Soprano' cries Rod Blagojevich
January 20, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Claiming that government agents and lawyers have painted Rod Blagojevich with the same brush as infamous TV mobster Tony Soprano, agitated lawyers for the ex-Illinois governor have complained to a federal judge in Chicago.
A motion filed by Blagojevich's attorney Wednesday afternoon alleges that prosecutors have spun a "horrendously prejudicial public feeling against him." The court filing demands that transcripts of "secret" interviews with President Obama and other high-ranking officials be turned over to the Blagojevich legal team to use in preparation for his corruption defense. REPLY TO GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT ROD BLAGOJEVICH'S PRETRIAL MOTIONS
"If the accused has committed crimes he should be convicted and punished," the attorneys write in the response. "All Blagojevich asks is that he should have the same shot at an acquittal that the government has to obtain a conviction. Where is the transparency? Where is the openness that the public, as well as an accused American, has the right to expect? Why such governmental obscurantism?"
A press release distributed by Blagojevich press agents alerted news organizations to the motion filed Wednesday afternoon in federal court and stated that the former governor "should be entitled to know what President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and other members of the President's inner circle told FBI agents when they were secretly interviewed in Chicago last year as part of an investigation into the former governor and allegations that he tried to sell a U.S. Senate seat for financial gain."
The motion is in reply to Chicago prosecutors contention that interviews with the President and others should remain secret because the defense team might "harass" certain witnesses.
"The government's alleged concern about the harassment and security of witnesses... cannot be taken seriously. This defendant is Rod Blagojevich, not Tony Soprano. This the trial for the former governor for alleged non-violent offenses, not a reply of the 'FAMILY SECRETS' trial" writes attorney Sam Adam. Family Secrets was a landmark Outfit murder conspiracy trial in Chicago in 2007.
Adam continues: "A government confident enough in its own rectitude to try purported terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a United States District court in New York should likewise be secure enough to provide the accused former Governor of Illinois with the requested statements of the President of the United States."
Asked for comment this afternoon, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald declined.
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