Prosecution May File New Blago Charges to Avoid "Honest Services" Snafu

By Andrew Greiner
|  Monday, Dec 7, 2009  |  Updated 1:00 PM CDT
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Blagojevich Busted

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Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was indicted on 16 felony charges by the U.S. Attorney's office on April 2. While the indictment was long-expected, the details in the document named additional defendants and included allegations of "pervasive fraud" in the Blagojevich administration.

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Federal prosecutors charged with arguing for the conviction of disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich aren’t taking any chances that an expected U.S. Supreme court ruling could ruin their case.

They’ve decided to file a new indictment against Blago that doesn’t use the “honest service” statute as its central thesis, the Chicago Tribune
reports
.

The “honest services” statute is a broad anti-corruption law that makes it a crime "to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services" for political gain.

At least five of the 16 felony indictments against Blagojevich would fall under the “honest-services fraud” law.

But the Supreme Court may eradicate the statute because it is too broad. They take up the issue this week.

Prosecutors had said that if the law is changed or repealed they would drop the related charges against Blagojevich.

But now they’re saying they will bring new charges that don’t rely on the rule in an effort to avoid moving Blago’s June court date.
 

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