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Judge slams Blago lawyer for 'harebrained' motion

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(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
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Former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Updated 1:48 p.m., then 2:16 p.m.

A federal judge has denied what he called a "harebrained" motion by Rod Blagojevich's lawyers over what they claimed was potential misconduct by the forewoman at his corruption retrial.

Judge James Zagel threatened Monday to sanction the attorney who drafted the motion for the impeached Illinois governor, who was convicted of charges including that he tried to sell President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Blagojevich's team asked Zagel to investigate whether the jury forewoman violated the judge's orders by possessing a questionnaire from the retrial and using it in at least one public presentation.

The motion had sought a new trial if court rules were violated. Attorney Lauren Kaeseberg said later she would've been remiss by not filing it.

The jury forewoman says she doesn't need an apology from the former Illinois governor's legal team for questioning whether she acted improperly in recent public talks about the case.

Connie Wilson spoke to The Associated Press Monday after Judge James Zagel denied the defense motion.

Zagel said she did nothing improper and suggested the attorney who filed the motion apologize to Wilson.

But Wilson says Blagojevich's attorneys were "just doing their jobs" and saw no reason for an apology.

She also explained she used only a generic questionnaire in her talk and not one from the trial.

Blagojevich begins his 14-year sentence in March.

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