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Politics Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2011 - 18:45:21

Rod Blagojevich Trial Update: Blagojevich Wants Evidence Tossed
Caroline Lorraine

Feb 22, 2011, 11:30

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Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor who is facing a retrial on April 20 for 23 charges including trying to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama�s vacated U.S. Senate seat, has asked that prosecutors be barred from playing any FBI wiretap recordings at his upcoming retrial.  These recordings are key to the government�s case against him.

Blagojevich's motion argues that Judge James Zagel should throw out hundreds of recordings because the conversations are missing context.  

In one of the most well known recordings Blagojevich is heard saying, �I've got this thing and it's (expletive) golden. ... I'm just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing."

The motion claims three gaps in the call raise doubts about the context of the conversation. The defense did not offer an alternative to what the former governor could have been saying.

According to the Monday filing, the defense says it wants to "suppress any and all fruits of the wiretaps, because the government failed to establish a prima facie showing of reasonable minimization. In other words They're saying they don't want any of the wiretaps played because they're not accurate."

"The recordings were turned on and off and critical dialogue was missed, so they either want the tapes completely suppressed or played in full, hoping the jurors notice the conversations don't flow and parts of them are missing," explained Attorney Steve Greenberg, who is not working on the Blagojevich case.

Federal agents secretly monitoring wiretapped phones are required to limit what they record to conversations pertinent to an investigation. This can mean they frequently turn devices on and off to cut out all conversations not relevant to an investigation.

Many of the recordings the motion seeks to throw out were made around December 2008, just days before Blagojevich�s arrest.

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