Blago Treated Like Tony Soprano, Lawyers Say

"This defendant is Rod Blagojevich, not Tony Soprano," attorney says

By Phil Rogers
|  Thursday, Jan 21, 2010  |  Updated 7:16 AM CDT
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Blagojevich Busted

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Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich attends a press conference for "I"m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!" at the Langham Hotel on April 24, 2009 in Pasadena, California.

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In a motion filed in federal court Wednesday, the former governor's lawyers claimed that their client is being treated like Tony Soprano, the fictional TV mobster, and they repeated demands for access to FBI interviews with President Obama, the First Lady, and members of the White House staff.

The government's reluctance to give up interviews with the President, they said, "cannot be taken seriously."

"This defendant is Rod Blagojevich, not Tony Soprano," writes defense attorney Sam Adam. "This is the trial of the former governor alleged non-violent offenses, not a replay of the 'Family Secrets' trial."

That trial focused on over a dozen unsolved gangland murders which spanned decades in the Chicagoland area.

Prosecutors have promised to turn over relevant materials pertaining to witnesses they intend to call at trial no later than March 3.

"The government's proposal more than meets the requirements of the law," prosecutors wrote in a Jan. 8 motion. "Given the number of attorneys working on the case for the defense, (the documents) give the defense ample time to use the witness statements to prepare for trial."

Defense attorney Adam contends a wide variety of interviews conducted by the government may contain evidence which could exonerate Blagojevich.

"The defendant believes the requested information is necessary to enable him in his efforts to overcome the horrendously prejudicial public feeling against him," Adam writes.

"A government confident enough in its own rectitude to try purported terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a United States District court in New York should likewise be secure enough to provide the accused former Governor of Illinois with the requested statements of the President of the United States."

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