Will Emanuel, Jackson be called to testify by Blagojevich defense?

May 20, 2011

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(WBEZ/file)
Sheldon Sorosky is one of Blagojevich's attorneys.

Updated on Sunday, May 22 at 5:42 p.m.

There's still no word on whether Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel or U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., will be called to testify in Rod Blagojevich's defense. The ex-governor's attorneys on Friday chatted about their plans in private with the judge.

Standing in a far corner of the courtroom, Judge James Zagel talked to the lawyers - first just Blagojevich's lawyers, and then also the prosecutors. They were quietly discussing possible issues that could arise when the defense starts calling witnesses to the stand.

Blagojevich attorney Sheldon Sorosky didn't share much of that conversation with reporters, and would not say who he will call to testify or when they'd be called.

"In theory, we'll have witnesses to testify on Monday if we could get these witnesses in, because they're all prominent people and have difficult schedules and activities, and the judge is aware of it," Sorosky said after the hearing. "But we'll try to begin on Monday."

The defense actually has a couple extra days to get its witness list in order. On Friday afternoon, the court clerk announced that the trial won't resume until Wednesday.

Politicians subpoenaed in the case include Mayor Emanuel, Rep. Jackson, U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. That does not mean all or any of them will end up testifying.

None have been charged with wrongdoing.