Blago: Government "Proved My Innocence" - NBC Chicago
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Blago: Government "Proved My Innocence"



    Rod Blagojevich Explains Why He Won't Testify

    Rod Blagojevich gives reason why he will not testify. (Published Wednesday, July 21, 2010)

    Speaking after court today, former governor Rod Blagojevich said that he did not testify because, ultimately, the government did not prove that he took any money in exchange for Obama's former Senate seat.

    Blagojevich's defense team rested their case today after only two full days of testimony, mostly from Robert Blagojevich. 

    "I believed all along I would testify," Blagojevich said in the lobby of the Dirksen Federal Court building. The government, he said, led his defense team to believe the trial would last four months and that several other witnesses would testify. "But the government proved my case, proved I was innocent, and there was nothing further for me to add."

    Blagojevich said that the only things the tapes proved was that he was brainstorming ideas, that he was seeking the advice of his staff, and that he was seeking the advice of his lawyers.

    Q&A: Blagojevich Attorneys on Rod's Testimony Decision

    [CHI] Q&A: Blagojevich Attorneys on Rod's Testimony Decision
    Sam Adam, Sr. and Sam Adam, Jr. give an animated explanation of their defense strategy.
    (Published Wednesday, July 21, 2010)

    "Yes, they proved some of the ideas were stupid," he said. "They also proved some of the ideas were good."

    Blagojevich said ultimately he followed the advice of the lead attorney on the case, Sam Adam Sr.

    Adam Sr.'s son, Sam Adam Jr., disagreed with his father's choice, but in a Q&A session with reporters after Blagojevich left, the two attorneys brushed away any conjecture that the legal team was compromised.

    "The only thing we've ever agreed on in life is we both like The Honeymooners," said Sam Adam Sr., of his son.

    Defneding the decision to rest their case, Adam Sr. pointed out that the government said they were going to call all sorts of witnesses, from Stuart Levine to Tony Rezko, but in the end their case rested almost entirely on only a handful of Blagojevich's advisors.

    "Their entire case rested on two witnesses, Lon Monk and Harris, and these tapes," he said. Adam Sr. said that Blagojevich ultimately didn't need to explain the tapes because the tapes explained themselves.

    Asked whether the team didn't want Blagojevich on the stand because the government could bring Rezko and Levine as rebuttal witnesses, Adam grew agitated.

    "Why not bring them in the first place," he said. "We were're playing their game, we're playing on our game, which is let them prove their case."

    As for Robert Blagojevich's testimony, Adam said it only helped.

    Adam also said that Blagojevich has no obligation to testify, and wondered aloud why nobody seems to have asked the government why they didn't call all the witnesses they said they would.

    "The foremost sought after witnesses in this case were not called after to testify," added attorney Sheldon Sorosky. "That would be Mr. Rezko, Mr. Levin, Cnogressman Jackson, and Rahm Emanuel."

    All attorneys nodded in agreement.

    "Some day," Adam said, speaking to whether Blagojevich should have listened to Sr. or Jr., "we'll know the answer as to who was right and who was wrong."