Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Toss the Blago Charges?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The judge in Rod Blagojevich's corruption trial will decide Thursday whether to dismiss any of the charges against the former governor.

    Blagojevich's defense attorneys filed a motion Wednesday to dismiss many of the counts against Blagojevich and his brother, Robert, after they rested their case.

    The motion is a common maneuver and rarely granted by judges.

    By resting their case Wednesday, the defense prevented their client from taking the stand -- something Blagojevich has long said he wanted to do, and an event which was promised by attorney Sam Adam Jr. in opening statements.

    When asked by Judge James Zagel whether he was voluntarily making the decision not to testify, Blagojevich answered simply "Yes."

    Blagojevich's lawyers openly disagreed about whether Blagojevich should take the stand, but in the end the former governor says he relied on the advice of lead attorney Sam Adam Sr., who argued that the government had not proven its case against his client.

    But some observers speculate that the defense, after seeing Blagojevich flounder in prep sessions, didn't want their client to take the stand for fear he would be rhetorically eviscerated.

    By testifying, Blagojevich would also be opening the possibility that the prosecution could call additional witnesses -- Tony Rezko, Stuart Levine, others -- whose testimony could be damaging to the former governor.