Fri April 30, 2010
President Obama Won't Testify
Chicago, IL – President Obama will not be ordered to testify in the corruption trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
For now, at least.
Blagojevich's attorneys wanted the president to testify - in part - about conversations he allegedly had regarding who he wanted to take his place in the U-S Senate.
Blagojevich is accused of trying to leverage his power to fill that seat for personal or political gain.
His lawyers say they wanted Obama to clear up what they say are contradictions between the president's public statements and those from other witnesses.
Judge James Zagel denied the motion - saying the defense "falls very short" in its argument that the president's testimony is material to the case.
But the judge says he could reconsider the decision later.
The White House has refused comment on the subpoena request, citing the ongoing investigation.
Blagojevich's trial is scheduled to begin June 3rd.
Monk pleads guilty...again.
Meanwhile, one of Blagojevich's top aides has pleaded guilty to charges that accuse him of conspiring to pressure a racetrack owner for campaign money in exchange for approval of legislation favoring the racing industry.
Former chief of staff Alonzo Monk's guilty plea in federal court Friday was largely a formality. He'd already plead guilty to such a charge, but had to do it again because a rewritten version of the indictment -- technically a whole new set of charges -- is now before the court.
Illinois Public Radio and the Associated Press contributed to this report.