Blagojevich trial, Rod not called to stand yet, Rezko and Levine not called by prosecution, Citizen Wells open thread, July 21, 2010
Blagojevich trial, Rod not called to stand yet, Rezko and Levine not called by prosecution
Rod Blagojevich was not called to the witness stand yesterday. Tony Rezko and Stuart Levine were not called by the prosecution. This still smells badly to me and I believe the fix was in on this trial years ago. Blagojevich attorney comments from yesterday, July 20, 2010.
From the Chicago Tribune.
“But in a stunning twist as his time to take the witness stand came, Blagojevich’s attorneys told U.S. District Judge James Zagel on Tuesday that the ex-governor would not testify and that they were prepared to rest their case without calling a single witness, sources told the Tribune. After conferring that message privately to Zagel and prosecutors in a lengthy sidebar, the defense team was told by the judge to mull the decision overnight.
The decision means Blagojevich won’t be able to play any undercover recordings that he felt backed up his denials of wrongdoing. Last week, the judge took parts of two days to decide what recordings could be played for the jury by the defense, though he blocked many of the ones it sought to air.
A number of sources said several factors went into the sudden reversal of course.
Blagojevich’s lawyers believed prosecutors had held back part of their case against the former governor to use against him in what promised to be a bruising cross-examination by Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar, who glared toward the defense table after learning of the decision.
The attorneys also were operating under the belief that if Blagojevich testified, convicted fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who has cooperated with the government, was likely to be called as a powerful rebuttal witness by prosecutors. Sources have said Rezko, who allegedly helped Blagojevich scheme to make money by leveraging the powers of his office, had not been prepared by prosecutors to testify but was on notice that he could very likely be called to the stand on short order.”
“”Listen, they told us they were going to bring on Rezko,” Adam Sr. said of the prosecution. “They told us they were going to bring on (convicted political insider Stuart) Levine. They told us they were going to bring on all these witnesses and they didn’t do it. They did not bring them on.””
Why wouldn’t the prosecution bring Rezko, Levine and others to the witness stand. Their names are mentioned constantly in all of the legal documents. More on that soon.
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