Blago Wants Fitzgerald Booted

Gov. Rod Blagojevich's defense attorneys urged a federal judge on Thursday to throw Chicago's top federal prosecutor and all of his assistants out of the fraud and bribery case against the governor.

Federal prosecutors immediately retorted that the effort was "meritless."

Blagojevich's attorneys made the move as chances diminished that state lawmakers weighing his impeachment will ever get to see transcripts of the FBI's secretly made tapes of the governor's private conversations.

Chief defense counsel Edward Genson filed the motion to have U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald thrown off the case. He contended that Fitzgerald violated the rules with pretrial publicity at a Dec. 9 news conference announcing the charges against Blagojevich and his former chief of staff, John Harris.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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