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Blago Lawyers Motion to Bar Some Testimony

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Blago Lawyers Motion to Bar Some Testimony
Jack Higgins
Blago Lawyers Motion to Bar Some Testimony

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Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich arrives at court July 27, 2010 in Chicago.

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Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich have asked the judge in his upcoming corruption trial to bar testimony about the former governor's seemingly lavish clothing budget.

In the first Blagojevich trial, IRS agent Shari Schindler testified that Blagojevich and his wife had spent in excess of $400,000 on clothing. Among the purchases, more than $200,000 with the tailor Tom James Oxxford, including a $20,000 purchase on a single day.

"There was no impropriety whatsoever surrounding these purchases," the attorneys wrote in a motion filed Friday night. "The fact that Blagojevich did not spend his money wisely or frugally is of no consequence to the government's allegations that he schemed to obtain campaign contributions."

The attorneys also asked judge James Zagel to bar testimony about the former governor's work habits; specifically, his penchant for staying away from his official offices in Springfield and Chicago.

"This conduct is not illegal, but it is highly inflammatory and prejudicial," the lawyers write. As examples, they cited testimony of former deputy governor Bob Greenlee, that Blagojevich was at the office as little as six to eight hours a week, and that he once avoided meeting with his finance chief by hiding in a bathroom.

Through his lawyers, Blagojevich also asked the judge to limit testimony about his efforts to obtain a job for his wife Patti, and allegations that he sought the dismissal of members of the Chicago Tribune editorial board in exchange for state help in renovations at Wrigley Field.

Jury selection in the Blagojevich case continues Monday morning.

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