In his latest stunt, the ex-governor has asked the judge to cancel his retrial. It sounds crazy because it is crazy. Trials are cancelled all the time, but not because the defendant asks nicely. It's because a plea deal is reached. The defendant pleads guilty in exchange for leniency and no trial. And that's probably where this is headed. He's probably trying to set up a plea deal that would limit his jail time, but in typical Blago fashion, he's going about it in an arrogant way.
He hasn't been sentenced yet on the lone conviction from the first trial. His motion asks the judge to sentence him on that one and dismiss the rest. And apparently, he's asking for that without giving anything in return. That's pretty bold. His attorneys argue that because taxpayers are footing his legal bills (he's broke), the retrial would be a waste of taxpayer money. I'll agree that it seems like a giant waste of money, but isn't that his fault in the first place? Letting him off because there's a budget crisis seems pretty crazy. And if we are going to do it for him then all the (alleged) crooks might as well get in line behind him.
Do the feds want a trial? Yes and no. They probably want a do over, since the first trial was a failure. On the other hand, striking a deal may be a safer bet because you never know what a jury will decide. It could be a repeat of the first trial, and that would make the feds look pretty bad. Plus, with a deal, they could avoid the circus that the retrial promises to be. But I don't see them agreeing to anything less than five years.
It's not likely that Blago's request will be granted, but you can bet something is going on behind the scenes. I won't be shocked if he pleads guilty to one or two counts with an agreed sentence recommendation. But to think he'll get out of it altogether is nuts.
And in a bit of shameless self promotion, scroll down on http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/09/AR2011030900995.html to see my quote on this case.
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