Blago Attorneys Want Off-Limits Tapes Heard

While most Chicagoans were feasting on their own Thanksgiving dinners, convicted former Governor Rod Blagojevich and his family gathered for what was likely one of the former governor's last holidays at home before he begins serving a term in federal prison.

At the same time, his lawyers were filing the legal equivalent of a Hail Mary as Blagojevich's sentencing date approaches.

Blagojevich and his attorneys have asked Judge James Zagel for permission to reference portions of until-now confidential undercover recordings. The tapes were previously branded off-limits by Zagel in April of 2009.

"The defense does not seek to play any wiretap recordings in their entirety," the lawyers wrote. "The brief excerpts of recordings or transcripts that Mr. Blagojevich is seeking to play in court and to reference in his written sentencing not involve sensitive, personal, or embarrassing comments about, or references to, any individuals."

The lawyers reference over 150 tapes. While most involve conversations between Blagojevich and his advisors, at least one features the former governor speaking with his wife and daughters. Several involve then-congressman Rahm Emanuel, and still another feature luminaries as diverse as former school board chief Gery Chico, former alderman Ed Smith, and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

The sentencing hearing for Blagojevich is set for Dec. 6 and 7.

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