Government Drops Case Against Robert Blagojevich

Robert Blagojevich gets some welcome news: The Government is dropping its case against him and won't be refiling charges.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Reid Schar said the government was dropping two counts of extortion conspiracy and one count each of wire fraud and extortion because of "the disparity in the roles" of the two brothers and "in the interests of justice."

I'm glad the Government made the right call, see my post, Enough about Rod, Lets Talk About Robert.

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    So here's my question (none / 0) (#1)
    by Zorba on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 04:33:53 PM EST
    If the government is dropping the two counts of extortion conspiracy against Robert (as well as the other count), will they also drop those conspiracy counts when they retry Rod?  I would think that, if he is being charged with conspiracy, but they are not also charging either Robert, or anyone else, with conspiracy, the question could be asked- who was he conspiring with?  Of course, I think most conspiracy charges are garbage, and I think that they need to pack it in as far as retrying Rod for anything, as well.  I'm not saying that Rod was as pure as the driven snow, but the government's case was a complete, over-zealous mess, and spending more taxpayer money on retrying him would seem to be a huge waste of government resources.  In any case, good news for Robert.

    there are other (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 06:13:43 PM EST
    conspirators to keep the counts against Rod

    Count 21 charged Rod and Robert with conspiring to commit extortion with Rod's former chief of staff John Harris and others. So they can just drop Robert from it and recharge it as Rod conspired with John Harris and others (Harris plead so he would just be an unindicted co-conspirator at this point)

    Count 22 charged Rod and Robert with attempted extortion. That count can stand against Rod alone.

    Count 23 charged Rod, Robert and John Harris with conspiracy to commit bribery, so they can drop Robert and keep the count against Rod. with Harris as an unindicted co-conspirator

    Count 13 charged Rod and Robert with wire fraud and was not a conspiracy count, so they can just drop Robert and keep Rod.


    Thanks, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zorba on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 06:25:03 PM EST
    Of course, that still leaves open the question of whether they should be retrying Rod at all........

    I would add, that Robert need not be on trial (none / 0) (#4)
    by Peter G on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 07:28:49 PM EST
    or even charged, for the government to claim that he was a conspirator, for purposes of prosecuting Rod.  

    Wouldn't that claim weaken (none / 0) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 10:17:46 AM EST
    their argument against Rod somewhat?

    Robert was a conspirator but we are not to retry him. Seems like a good defense attorney could make the point that reason is that they could not prove the  case against Robert since he is "innocent" just like Rod.

    This is stated poorly on my part but I hope you get the drift.


    The jury will be instructed to consider (none / 0) (#6)
    by Peter G on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 12:11:42 PM EST
    only the case against the defendant on trial, and not to speculate about anyone who is not presently on trial before them.  The jury at a retrial will not even be told there was a prior trial, and if they know about it, they will be told to ignore that information and not consider it.  No evidence or argument about why someone is not being prosecuted will be permitted before the jury at any trial or retrial (except for purposes of impeaching cooperating or immunized witnesses, of course).