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The Mechanics
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Blagojevich Wed Jul 21 2010

The Moment of...Huh?

Update Wed 07/21: The Blagojevich team decides to rest its case. According to the former governor himself, he always intended to testify and still was prepared to take the stand, before acting on the advice of his counsel that the prosecution "proved I did nothing illegal and that there was nothing further for us to add."

See Blagojevich speak on his behalf in the below video courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:

 

For the first time since his arrest in December of 2008, Rod Blagojevich has shut up. From his initial Kipling-quoting protestations, Blagojevich has maintained all along that his innocence has been as solid as his lustrous mane. Since that infamous press conference, when he stood up and stated "I intend to answer every allegation that comes my way. However I intend to answer them in the appropriate forum," Blagojevich has been using his whirlwind media tour as a set-up for what would be the absolving nature of having "all the tapes" and his court testimony heard. And now that the day has finally come to shed light on the ultimate truth via his own mouth, Blagojevich, much like his idol Elvis, has seemingly left the building.

Coming as a bit of a shock, not only will Blagojevich not take the stand, but it looks as if the defense may rest its case. (Although, the father-and-son defense team of Sam Adam Jr. and Adam Sr. seem at odds as to what their next move may actually be.) If this development remains true, and if indeed the defense decides not to call any further witnesses, it would appear that Blagojevich's team has either recognized their current defense strategy would fail to establish innocence against the prosecution's burden of proof or believes that resting with Robert Blagojevich's testimony as the freshest thing in the jury's mind puts them at an advantage. More likely, the defense believes that at this point in time, a less is more approach could augment any forceful closing arguments in illustrating any loopholes the prosecution may have opened.

It is interesting to note that all of this activity coincides with the news that disgraced publisher Conrad Black has been granted bail due to the recent US Supreme Court ruling that significantly tempered the "honest services" law. The same law was applied heavily to Blagojevich in the original indictment against him. How this may be used by Blagojevich and his team, if at all, remains to be seen.

 
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Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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Editor: Mike Ewing, mike@gapersblock.com
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