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Defense attorneys to begin case for Blagojevich brothers


Chicago – Defense attorneys for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his brother Robert will begin outlining their case Monday in the brothers' federal corruption trial

The defense says the exact order of their case has largely been up in the air because the prosecution rested sooner than they thought and they're trying to schedule high profile witnesses like White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Robert Blagojevich and his wife are expected to testify on Monday, which will likely take the entire day and could extend into Tuesday. Robert is charged with five counts of wire fraud, bribery and extortion for allegedly helping his brother try to get something in exchange for an appointment to Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat.

His lawyers plan to introduce four additional recorded phone calls that they say show Robert was not interested in money, and joined his brother Rod's re-election campaign simply to reconnect with his younger brother.

The real fireworks could begin Tuesday when Rod Blagojevich, who pleaded not guilty to all charges and nosily proclaimed his innocence for the past year and a half, begins his testimony. Legal analysts call the strategy risky, because Blagojevich, unlike during TV and radio appearances, will be under oath and face tougher questions.


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