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Covering Chicago's nine political influencers





    Rod Blagojevichthrew down a gantlet Tuesday, challenging U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to a courtroom match of testicular fortitude.

    "I'm here today to issue a challenge," Blagojevich crooned Tuesday on the city's south side "I challenge Mr. Fitzgerald. Why don't you show up in court tomorrow and explain to everybody. Explain to the whole world. Why you don't want those tapes that you made played in court. I'll be in court tomorrow. I hope you're man enough to be in court too."

    Blagojevich has long maintained that playing the full tapes will exonerate him and/or prove other government officials were complicit in his schemes.

    "He knows what's going to happen, which is that all the tapes aren't going to be played and he's hoping that some decision maker -- some potential juror -- is out there [that he can sway in his favor]," Former Asst. U.S. Attorney John Gallo told NBC 5.

    There are more than 500 hours of recorded conversations on those tapes, and to listen to all of them would take an incredible amount of time and create one expensive trial. Jurors would have to spend 62 consecutive 8-hour days listening to nothing but recorded conversations trying to discover one smoking gun utterance.

    Gallo says there is no such smoking gun.