Prosecutors: No reason to split Blago, bro's trials

Robert Blagojevich, brother of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, departs federal court after his arraignment on federal racketeering and fraud charges in Chicago, Tuesday, April 14, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

April 19, 2010 1:03:55 PM PDT
When it comes to publicity, federal prosecutors said in a filing today that Robert Blagojevich -- for his own good -- should stand trial with his brother, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

"The publicity might actually be worse if Rod Blagojevich were convicted in advance of Robert Blagojevich's trial," prosecutors wrote in their eight page response to defendant Robert Blagojevich's motion for severance.

Through his attorney Michael Ettinger, Robert Blagojevich also argued that his trial should be separated because he was involved with this brother's campaign for only 4 months of Rod Blagojevich's 84 month conspiracy, ending when the former governor was arrested. The government disagrees, writing "there is virtually no evidence that is not relevant to both Rod Blagojevich and Robert Blagojevich, ?even if the honest services scheme were not to remain part of the case, Robert Blagojevich's significant involvement in a series of the charged criminal acts would make severance inappropriate anyway."

Prosecutors also disagree with Robert Blagojevich, who as a Nashville, Tennessee resident claimed that a trial with his brother would add expense and inconvenience. "Robert Blagojevich's choice to commit crimes in the Chicago area when he did business in Tennessee was a poor one," replied the government, "but not one that justifies inflicting the time and expense of multiple trials with overlapping evidence on the prosecution and this Court.


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