In this Dec. 7, 2011 file photo, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, left, speaks to reporters as his wife, Patti, listens at the federal building in Chicago after being sentenced to 14 years on 18 corruption counts, including trying to auction off President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.
Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago to unseal the transcripts of unplayed tapes from the former governor’s two criminal trials.
Overnight, prosecutors filed a motion with the court asking that the transcripts of those tapes be kept under wraps. But Blagojevich’s lawyers argue that the court’s own rules argue in favor of making the tapes public.
"Arguments that were appropriate at the discovery stage are no longer appropriate for the few documents that determine the resolution of an appeal," wrote Blagojevich lawyer Leonard Goodman. "This Court’s practice in conducting its proceedings in a transparent fashion is grounded in the well-established principle that publicity is an important safeguard for the public."
While dozens of tapes were played by prosecutors during the two Blagojevich trials, hundreds more never saw the light of day, and the former governor’s lawyers contended many portrayed him in a very different light. Responding to prosecutors’ concerns that the transcripts prepared by defense lawyers may not be accurate, Goodman offered to tender electronic copies of the recordings themselves.
Blagojevich is currently serving a 14 year sentence, at the Federal Penitentiary in Englewood, Colorado.