Friday, January 23, 2009

I Think Blagojevich May Be Getting Screwed, Somewhat

Never want to kick a man when he's down, but there is something hysterical about a politician calling a press conference to announce that the system under which he is being prosecuted is unfair.

Now Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is not complaining about the criminal justice system (yet), he's complaining, loudly, about the administrative rules governing his impeachment. He wants the legislature to change the procedural rules so that he can call as witnesses everyone except Jesus, Moses, and Britney Spears (I think). He is doing the classic "I'm going to drag everyone who ever spoke to me into this and embarrass as many people as I can until either the system apologizes to me or I have a nervous breakdown."

So I read the rules.

Blago says he can't challenge the evidence.

Rule 8(b) The House Prosecutor or the Governor or his counsel may object to the admission or exclusion of evidence. Any objection must be addressed to the Chief Justice. No objection, however, may be made against all or any part of the House impeachment record filed by the House Prosecutor with the Secretary.

Now I don't know if he's right about this, because I don't understand what this rule means. Who wrote these?

Blago also says he can't subpoena the witnesses he wants to appear. I think he's right.

Look at this crap:

Rule 15(f) "It is never in order to request a subpoena for the testimony of any person or for the production of documents or other materials from that person if the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois has indicated that the person's testimony, or inquiry into the subject matter of that person's testimony, could compromise the U.S. Attorney's criminal investigation of Rod R. Blagojevich, as exemplified by, but not limited to, exhibits 10, 24, and 30 of the House impeachment record, unless the U.S. Attorney subsequently indicates otherwise.

So the U.S. Attorney has to bless Blago's right to call a witness? No question that requires the impeachment be stayed pending the outcome of the criminal trial.

What fascinates me is that these rules were drafted specifically for the Blago impeachment trial. Read them. These are not rules of procedure for impeachment, these are rules governing the impeachment of Blago.

The problem is that Blago has no friends, and now, no lawyers. His criminal lawyer resigned because he can't control Blago and his big mouth.

Blago's biggest problem? His message gets lost in the messenger.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit

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