lagojevich says he’ll be at hearing today, challenges Fitzgerald
April 21, 2010 9:34 AM | No Comments
A federal court hearing to discuss pretrial motions is scheduled for noon today as preparations for the corruption trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich go into their final six weeks.
On Tuesday, Blagojevich described the federal prosecutors who have brought racketeering and fraud charges against him as “cowards and liars” and challenged U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to meet him face to face in court today if he is “man enough.”
In an extraordinary outburst timed to go live on evening news shows, Blagojevich said prosecutors had treated his wife unfairly and were now “sneaking into court” in an effort to prevent jurors from hearing all of the tapes the FBI made of his telephone conversations.
“They are cowards and they are liars,” Blagojevich said, raising his voice to a full throated shout as he stood before a battery of cameras in front of his lawyer’s South Side office.
“They know when all those tapes will be played they will show I’ve done nothing wrong and will prove my innocence,” the impeached former governor said. He and his attorneys left without
Addressing Fitzgerald through the cameras, Blagojevich said: “I’ll be in court tomorrow and I hope you are man enough to be there, too.”
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, Randall Samborn, had no comment on Blagojevich’s remarks.
Blagojevich continued his campaign this morning during an appearance on WLS Radio. He accused the government of being “involved in a big cover-up” and repeated his comments about prosecutors.
Blagojevich also dismissed the possibility that U.S. District Judge James Zagel could order him to stop talking about the case, saying “this is still the United States of America.”
Blagojevich is charged with scheming to misuse his power as governor to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat by selling or trading President Obama’s former seat and illegally pressuring potential donors for campaign contributions.
His brother, businessman Robert Blagojevich, is charged with helping him.
Both brothers have pleaded not guilty to all charges and denied any wrongdoing.