Judge James Zagel has given former governor Rod Blagojevich some hope that at least one "honest services" count could be affected a ruling this week by the United States Supreme Court -- but that potential victory may have little impact on the larger case.
Zagel said his reading of the so-called Skilling decision suggests it will have no impact whatsoever on the evidence in the former governor's case. However, it could impact the portion of the case in which Blagojevich is accused of attempting to get the Chicago Tribune's editorial board fired.
"There is a reasonable argument," Zagel said, "that if the allegations are true, it's the governor trying to bribe the Tribune, rather than the other way."
The honest services ruling could figure into the RICO counts, but none of the lawyers are sure.
Zagel did say the evidence would stay in.