Blago Asks to Subpoena the President - NBC Chicago

Blago Asks to Subpoena the President



    Blago Asks  to Subpoena the President
    Associated Press
    Gov. Rod Blagojevich, D-Ill., left, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., center, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., are sworn in before giving testimony at the Base Closure and Realignment Commission hearings at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Monday, June 20, 2005. Representatives from Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin will present their case to the commission.

    In what appears to be yet another sensational move by side-show that is Blagojevich's trial defense, the former governor’s defense team Thursday asked to issue a trial subpoena to the President of the United States of America.

    They plan to call President Obama as a corroborating witness, because he can verify that Blagojevich didn't try to sell his seat. After Blagojevich was indicted Obama and his staff sat down for interviews with federal prosecutors  to talk about ties to convicted developer Tony Rezko and Blagojevich's attempts to make deals for a senate seat appointment.

    Blagojevich's lawyers filed a motion for the notes in December, but say they never received them.

    "As of today's date, the defense has not received any notes, transcripts, or reports from President Obama's interview with the government," defense lawyers wrote in the subpoena.

    "President Obama has direct knowledge to allegations made in the indictment. In addition, President Obama's public statements contradict other witness statements,specifically those made by labor union official and Senate Candidate B (Valerie Jarrett). It is anticipated that labor union official will be a witness for the government. His accounts of events directly related to the charges in the indictment are contradicted by
    President Obama's public statement," defense lawyers wrote.

    It's unclear if the President would agree to testify. Presidents can cite a number of reasons -- including national security, executive privilege or scheduling conflicts -- to avoid testifying. But it's not without precedent: president Clinton taped a video deposition in a civil case while serving.

    The White House has not responded to the request to subpoena at this time. Blagojevich's corruption trial begins in six weeks.