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Heated Words in Ryan Trial

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Angry words flew back and forth today at former Illinois Gov. George Ryan’s corruption trial.

Attorneys argued about the testimony of Edward McNally, the acting U.S. Attorney for the southern district of Illinois.

As he put it, McNally has former and current clients on both sides of the courtroom.

As a U.S. attorney, he represents the United States, but he was one of Ryan’s private lawyers during part of the Operation Safe Road investigation.

At issue was an interview with Ryan the government conducted in February of 2001. McNally was there as part of his legal team.

Prosecutors say McNally was not as forthcoming as he should have been about that day.

They said he wouldn’t tell prosecutors later if he’d secretly recorded the interview -- a violation of federal law. And they said he also wouldn’t name the person who’d typed up his notes.

Assistant U.S. attorney Patrick Collins was exasperated. “He isn’t an American hero, Judge, he’s someone who was a hired gun for Mr. Ryan.”

The attorneys argued these and other points for more than an hour outside the presence of the jury.

The trial continues Monday.

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