Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blagojevich Sentencing Hearing: Lawyers Request Special Hearing, Airing Of Silenced Tapes

While gearing up for the former governor's Dec. 6 sentencing, Rod Blagojevich's attorneys have requested that previously unaired recordings obtained during federal surveillance to be made public, and for a special hearing to review questions that arose during Tony Rezko's sentencing about lobbyist John Wyma, who testified in the former governor's trial.

Blagojevich's attorneys filed the request on Thanksgiving Day, arguing that unaired audio recordings illustrate his "state of mind and lack of ill intent," WBEZ reports, which they believe could lead to a reduced prison sentence.

The former governor was found guilty on 17 of 20 counts of corruption charges June 27, including trying to sell President Barack Obama's former Senate seat. Audio recordings obtained by federal investigators using wiretaps were a key component to the prosecution's case.

Blagojevich's lawyers listed 180 recordings they may want to cite in his sentencing memorandum due Nov. 30 and at his sentencing hearing, including two conversations with Rahm Emanuel, one call with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and others with various consultants and attorneys, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The ex-governor is also requesting an evidentiary hearing to consider new information revealed about lobbyist and former Blagojevich friend John Wyma that arose in filings related to Tony Rezko's Nov. 22 sentencing.

While Wyma was representing Provena Health as a lobbyist, Provena was granted a previously-contested certificate of need from an Illinois hospital board, which Rezko reportedly told prosecutors had been secured by paying off a hospital board member, according to the Sun-Times. Wyma was issued a subpoena based on that allegation, which prompted him to serve as an informant for the government and assist in wiretapping Blagojevich's phones.

The attorneys allege that, once the taps had been secured, prosecutors dismissed Rezko's allegations against Wyma, calling Rezko's information "not substantiated."

"If the incriminating evidence against Wyma was not substantiated because it was not investigated, the government's statement is misleading," defense lawyers wrote in their filing, according to another Sun-Times report. On this basis, they claim they weren't able to properly cross-examine Wyma in Blagojevich's corruption trial.

Last week, Rezko was sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison. Many are expecting Blagojevich's sentence to be even harsher.

"This sentence and what is likely to be a similarly harsh sentence for ex-Gov. Blagojevich should represent the strongest one-two punch we've ever seen to would-be corrupters of our government," Andy Shaw, president and CEO of the Better Government Association, told the Associated Press last week.

Brian Gladstein, executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, told the AP, "we have a court system that is now holding these people accountable that no matter how much power you have or what position you are, you are not untouchable."

By Huffington Post

Source: Huffington Post

1 comment:

  1. 1. Patrick Fitzgeral arrested Rod Blagojevich PREmaturely...Blagojevich was a sitting Governor, he was at no risk of fleeing, he was not putting anyone in danger, he was day's if not weeks away from naming a Senate successor...In fact he did end up naming Roland Burris, who still had to undergo scrutiny from the Senate followed up by being sworn in.
    2. The feds lied about the cooperation of John Wyma...HE did not go to them of his own free will, he was threatened with an indictment...
    3. John Wyma tipped off John Chase of the Chicago Tribune...which Patrick Fitzgerald had no interest.
    4. Barack Obama hired Craig Greg to conduct an internal investigation into any improper contact between himself, his staff and the Blagojevich camp...Predictably "no wrong doing" was found...
    5. Patrick Fitzgerald summoned Obama and Craig for a two hour interview with two FBI agents and two U.S. Attorney's.
    6. Craig Greg gave them the report upon arriving at the meeting...the feds gave it back to him telling him to hang onto it until after the investigation was complete...Craig gave it to them anyway.
    7. Obama and Craig released the SAME report to the press & public...There was NO MENTION of Obama phoning Tom Balanoff of the SEIU!!!
    8. The feds knew BEFORE interviewing Obama that he had spoken to Balanoff.
    9. Tom Balanoff testified in both trials of Rod Blagojevich that Barack Obama phoned him, asking him to act as an emissary between himself and Blagojevich...he wanted Balanoff to relay his Senate wish of Vallerie Jarrett.
    10. In both trials of Rod Blagojevich, his defense teams requested the 302's (minutes to the meeting) each time being denied but for different reasons.
    11. John Wyma lied about his motivation to testify...Tom Balanoff contradicted President Obama's "internal investigative report"...
    12. It's not a crime if it's the President of the United States.


I thank for the comment!