Blagojevich retrial hearing, August 26, 2010, Judge James Zagel, Citizen Wells open thread

Blagojevich retrial hearing, August 26, 2010, Judge James Zagel

The retrial hearing for Rod Blagojevich takes place today, Thursday, August 26, 2010.

From the Chicago Tribune.

“The retrial of Rod Blagojevich could look decidedly different from the first go-around if the bombastic father-and-son team of Sam Adam and Sam Adam Jr. drop off the case, as the former governor’s lead lawyers have hinted since last week.

Both Adams have suggested they want out of a repeat performance, with the younger one telling attorneys in the case that it’s time for him and his father to move on, according to sources.

Sheldon Sorosky, another Blagojevich lawyer who could remain on a reduced two-member defense team, said Wednesday he believes the younger Adam, whom he described as a “legal Michelangelo,” may struggle to find the energy to tackle the mammoth task again.

Adam’s closing argument was marked by loud and passionate pleas, a flurry of government objections and even an apology for sweating on a juror.

Some answers could become apparent Thursday as U.S. District Judge James Zagel holds the first public status hearing since the trial ended last week, with the jury convicting Blagojevich of lying to the FBI about his knowledge of political fundraising but deadlocking on all the other 23 counts.”

“”The primary purpose (for the hearing) is to set a new trial date,” Sorosky said. “Then, as in any retrial situation, the second purpose — which this time may eclipse the first — is the lawyer situation.”

In a private conference last week with attorneys in the case, Zagel said he expects the former governor to be allowed just two lawyers for the retrial.

Blagojevich, who had seven attorneys for the first trial, has tapped out his $2.7 million campaign fund, which under Zagel’s supervision was used to pay his legal fees. Rules under the Criminal Justice Act allow a defendant whose defense is paid for with taxpayer funds to have no more than two lawyers.”

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