Overwhelming Evidence Of Guilt Constitutes Unfair Trial, Blagojevich Lawyers Say
Governor Blagojevich has declared that he now would like to address the Illinois Senate, reversing an earlier decision to skip the trial in favor of a media blitz, a gambit to invoke the rare "declaration of innocence by the public" legal ruling allowed by U.S. law.
Having failed to garner public support, the governor's legal team now intends to argue that in the absence of witnesses that can refute government evidence of corruption, and with no allies willing to perjure themselves to defend the governor's innocence, the case against Blagojevich is inherently unfair and mean.
"It's been a witch hunt from the start," said attorney Sam Adam. "How can it be a fair trial when my client is so obviously guilty that there is no way to establish his innocence? Short of bribing the judges, or making witnesses magically 'disappear', it just isn't fair."
While the impeachment trial is not subject to the same regulations as a federal trial -- both of which the governor will have to face in the coming weeks and months -- Blagojevich will still face judgment from only his enemies who cannot be expected to vote in his favor, he said in an interview with Good Morning America.
"There isn't one lobbyist or construction contractor on any of these panels," he complained to the show's co-anchor, Bill Weir. "How can I be expected to establish my innocence when the votes will be cast by public officials based solely on the facts of the case, and not favors I may have done for them in the past, or state-funded jobs I awarded their firms for a few campaign contributions? That's just not how it's done in Illinois."
Blagojevich then compared himself to over 70 heroic figures from history and film, including Harrison Ford in Air Force One, "the fat kid" from The Goonies, and the entire Allied Forces of World War II.
In fact, some members of the governor's legal team claim that having no witnesses to refute the charges constitutes a violation of the 5th amendment, which states that an individual can not be forced to witness against himself.
"Does it come as a surprise to anyone why up until recently, the governor refused to be part of a trial that gives him no chance to clear his name?" asked former Blagojevich attorney Ed Genson, who has already left the case. "It's emblematic of a broken and biased system -- the same system that sent Nobel Peace Prize nominee and kindly old man George Ryan to the slammer for six years for corruption. How can it be constitutional for a guilty man not to be found innocent?"
So far, prosecutors have shared only a few of their tapes of Blagojevich, in which he is heard to try and garner large campaign contributions in exchange for legislation, saying things like "I fucking need the shit-fucking motherfucking cash, you shitty fucking ass-shit fucker." In his defense (i.e., on talk shows, not in a court of law), Blagojevich says that these conversations are being taken out of context.
"They're not playing the whole tape, which has way, way worse stuff on it," he told the women of The View. "They're probably saving a lot for the federal prosecution, which makes sense to me...and that's exactly my point. It's too much for me to handle. I'm so guilty that there's just no fair way to declare me guilty."
Despite his best efforts, most believe that Blagojevich's impeachment is imminent. It is expected to put a permanent end to corruption in Chicago politics.