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As Blago Takes Stand, Attorneys Seek Mistrial Over Jackson Testimony

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 26, 2011 4:20PM

Since his 2008 arrest, Rod Blagojevich has said to anyone who will listen and every camera in his path that he is innocent of trying to sell Barack Obama's former Senate seat and that "the truth will set us (read: him) free." Today, the former governor, after twwo-plus years of bloviating, finally took the stand in his defense. As the Sun-Times' Natasha Korecki writes, Blago is laying it on thick.

So far the testimony has been ripped from the script of This is Your Life, with Blagojevich painting Rockwellian account of his childhood and comparing himself to his Serbian immigrant father. But Blagojevich's words spoken before he hit the stand could come back and bite him on his ass. Judge James Zagel has pointed out that Blagojevich's scorched earth media campaign could be used by prosecutors in their questioning of him.

Zagel has also repeatedly said that what tapes can be played in the retrial depends on Blagojevich and his defense team. That could also backfire, as it could open a Pandora's Box for the prosecution to play tapes that can bolster their case and have Blagojevich refute them.

Blagojevich's attorneys have also filed their second mistrial motion of the week. This one is over Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s testimony that Blagojevich tried to shake him down for $25,000 in exchange for appointing his wife, 7th Ward Ald. Sandi Jackson, as Director of the Illinois Lottery.