Blagojevich to Judge: Too Many Gaps in Wiretaps
Ex-governor's lawyers cite too many gaps in tapes
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 21, 2011 1:42 PM CST
In an Aug. 12, 2010 file photo former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrives at the Federal Court building.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast/File)

(Newser) – Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers have asked a federal judge to forbid prosecutors from playing FBI wiretaps of the former Illinois governor during his upcoming retrial, the AP reports. The lawyers say the tapes—key evidence for the prosecution—are unreliable because of long gaps in the recordings, which remove the context of Blagojevich’s comments. The defense cites one now-infamous call in which Blagojevich says "I've got this thing and it's f---ing golden. I'm just not giving it up for f---in' nothing." In that call, three gaps result in four missing minutes (though the defense didn't offer an alternative take on what he might have meant).

During wiretaps, the FBI can record only what’s relevant to an investigation; thus recorders are often turned on and off in a process called “minimization.” Blagojevich’s attorneys cite a “pattern of inconsistent and improper minimizations” in asking for all the recordings to be dumped. Meanwhile, the defense has filed another 32 pages of sealed documents in the case. A hearing is set for Wednesday.