Even though he knew he was under investigation by one of the most tenacious U.S. Attorneys in the country, Gov. Rod Blagojevich just kept talking on the phone. That cavalier yapping could prove toxic in trial.
By Kevin Johnson
If Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has a chance at combating the conspiracy charges against him, legal analysts say, he must never let a jury hear his own words captured on federal government wiretaps.
The governor was arrested Tuesday on charges that included conspiring to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
Notre Dame law professor Jimmy Gurule, a former Justice Department official, describes the tapes as the “breathtaking” centerpiece of the government’s prosecution. “Unless the governor is successful in keeping the conversations out of a future trial, it’s hard to imagine what the defense is,” Gurule says.
Attorney Roscoe Howard, former chief federal prosecutor in Washington, says the recordings represent “the corpus of the crime” that will be difficult to attack if they are admitted as evidence in a courtroom.
“The governor is in deep trouble,” Howard says.
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