Blago Lawyers Want Conviction Tossed - NBC Chicago
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Blago Lawyers Want Conviction Tossed



    Blago Lawyers Want Conviction Tossed
    Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich smiles and waves at a supporter as he departs the federal courthouse after his defense team rested without calling any witnesses in his federal corruption trial Wednesday, July 21, 2010 in Chicago.

    Rod Blagojevich wants his lone conviction -- lying to the FBI -- thrown out.

    His lawyers filed a motion Tuesday claiming the trial was unfairly executed and that the prosecution confused the jury with an overly complicated set of critera.

    "To be sure, the burden was on the government and the defendant had no obligation to put on a case," the defense motion said. "However, the defendant‘s fundamental right to defend himself through cross examination was stomped upon by obstructionist (and continuous) objections that were sustained by the Court.  

    Blagojevich was convicted of lying to the FBI during an interview that was conducted in 2005. The former governor told prosecutors that he kept a firewall between his fundraising arm and his governmental responsibilities.

    Now, however, lawyers for Blagojevich are saying the statements were taken out of context.

    "It was common knowledge (and common sense) at the time (March of 2005, with a pending re-election the following year) that the Governor would be included in meetings regarding fundraising, and moreover, the Governor actually told the FBI agents that he was involved in fundraising during the very interview in question," the defense motion said.

    Blagojevich faces up to five years in prison for the conviction.