Defense attorneys for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich are paying a steep price for the tactics the team employed in the first trial. They used a number of tricks in the first trial which resulted in a hung jury on most of the counts against Blagojevich. The most notorious trick was probably when they promised the governor would testify, but then they reneged.
Judge James Zagel said he gave them leeway because he thought Blagojevich would testify, but he said he’s not going to do that this time. That was evident Monday as defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky tried to cross examine a former Blagojevich aide, John Wyma. Prosecutors had subpoenaed Wyma in 2008 about some of his work as a lobbyist and he’s testifying under a grant of immunity. Sorosky tried to ask questions about Wyma’s cooperation to suggest that Wyma got a free pass on his own legal troubles because he gave up the governor. Zagel stopped the questioning and told Sorosky that if he has problems with the way the prosecutors handle cooperating witnesses then he can file a complaint, but that’s not relevant to this trial.