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Prosecutors want gag order on Blagojevich, defense lawyers


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Chicago Tribune:

Federal prosecutors are seeking a gag order to keep ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his lawyers from making public comments, saying Blagojevich has attempted to manipulate media coverage to gain favorable attention and influence the jury in his corruption case.

In a 16-page filing today with U.S. District Judge James Zagel, prosecutors said Blagojevich and his attorneys made comments to reporters Tuesday at the end of testimony by government witness Alonzo “Lon” Monk, Blagojevich’s former friend and chief of staff.

Prosecutors said Blagojevich and his counsel “made statements to the press, on camera, giving their takes on Monk’s testimony, and in particular, his credibility, in what essentially amounted to mini-closing arguments on the topic.”

Prosecutors cited the scores of interviews Blagojevich has conducted leading up to the trial and the fact he has hired a public relations firm in an effort, they said, to sway the jury.

“Blagojevich used these platforms to try his case in the public realm, often going beyond declaring innocence and instead representing pretrial developments in the court case and making inflammatory comments regarding the prosecutors,” the government said in its filing.

Prosecutors are asking Zagel to issue a gag order that would prohibit the parties and counsel, during the trial, from making "extrajudicial statements that a reasonable person would believe could be publicly disseminated, expressing opinions, questions, or commentary regarding the merits of this case."

Hey, if Blago wants to hang himself in public, I say let him!
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