This is shaping up to be a Rod Blagojevich-filled week. First came the former Illinois governor’s surprise cameo appearance Monday on “The Daily Show”; then, on Tuesday, his lawyers withdrew his request to travel abroad a month before his retrial is scheduled to begin.
Now comes today’s development: Blagojevich’s attorneys moved to have their client sentenced on the charge he was convicted on last year (making false statements to an FBI agent) and have the remaining 20 charges he faces dismissed, partly because the attorneys haven’t been paid in months and they don’t have the funds at their disposal that Blagojevich’s first defense team did. They say Blagojevich would drop his appeal of his lone conviction but not admit guilt in doing so, as long as the federal government drops the rest of its case against him.
There is no way prosecutors will drop the charges against Blagojevich — especially the accusation that he tried to sell a U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. This latest motion from Blagojevich is just the latest way for him to try to garner sympathy from people (including potential jurors): poor Blagojevich doesn’t have enough money to afford a defense beyond what the state can afford to give him. Guess what, Blago? If you’re such a man of the people, you deserve to get the same defense as the average person in the criminal justice system. And if you want to avoid your trial, come to a plea agreement with the prosecution beforehand.
Blagojevich’s second trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday, April 20.