Judge James Zagel said this morning he was "unpersuaded" by Rod Blagojevich's motion to have all charges dismissed in his criminal case. Such motions, known as requests for a directed verdict of acquittal, are rarely granted.
Attorneys for Blagojevich argued that The former governor's so-called false statements to the FBI were ambiguous at worst; that Patti Blagojevich worked for every penny she made and her fees were reasonable; and that much of what the former governor said on undercover tapes amounted to protected free speech.
Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton fired back that Patti did no work for Tony Rezko, and that the monthly fees kicked in exactly at the time Rezko began receiving massive illegal kickbacks himself; she said Blagojevich's comment that he had a "firewall" in his office between politics and government was hardly ambiguous.
The judge refused to grant the defense motion, but said he would keep it on the side until after closing arguments.
Those arguments commence first thing Monday morning. Prosecutor Chris Niewoehner will go first and will get 2 and a half hours; Michael Ettinger will get one hour speaking for Robert Blagojevich; attorney Sam Adam Jr. wilk take 2 and a take hours speaking for Rod Blagojevich; and prosecutor Reid Schar will close things out with a one hour argument for the government.
Judge Zagel expressed skepticism that the flamboyant Sam Adam Jr, would keep to his allotted time. When told of the estimate of two and a half hours, he raised his eyebrows and said, "You think it's that small?"
Zagel said it was his experience that Adam is a " big believer in the force of repitition."