Blago Judge: No Head-Butting in My Court

Ex-governor is colorful as ever in courtroom
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2010 10:15 AM CDT
Blago Judge: No Head-Butting in My Court
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrives at the Federal Court building, Wednesday, April 21, 2010, in Chicago, for a status hearing in his upcoming federal corruption trial.    (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

The judge in the Rod Blagojevich trial doesn't intend to let the pugnacious former Illinois governor turn it into a grudge match with his nemesis, US attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. After a day of Blago antics—a rant in which he called prosecutors 'cowards and liars," challenged Fitzgerald to meet him face-to-face in court if he's "man enough," and demanded that President Obama be subpoenaed—the judge reminded him sternly that just as in a boxing match, "rules are enforced by the referee, not by the boxers. I will not permit the legal equivalent of head-butts."

On the issue Blago says will prove his innocence—letting the jury hear all 500 hours of wiretap tapes—the judge said he will be the judge of which tapes are relevant enough for the jury to hear, "not the defendant, his lawyers, nor the prosecutors," and gave the legal team until May 14 to submit the tapes they want played. The judge also denied a motion to give Blago and his brother separate trials, reports the Chicago Tribune.
(More Rod Blagojevich stories.)

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