CHICAGO — One of Rod Blagojevich's attorneys said Wednesday it was possible the defense could call President Obama to take the witness stand if the corruption charges against the former governor go to trial, but added that it wasn't clear that doing so would be necessary.
Defense attorney Samuel E. Adam said following a hearing in the case that it would be "an awesome experience in any career" to question Obama, who is not accused of any wrongdoing but did answer questions from federal investigators.
Blagojevich is charged with scheming to sell or trade Obama's former U.S. Senate seat, campaign fundraising abuses and other offenses. He has denied wrongdoing.
Blagojevich attorneys have asked U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel to give them an early look at the government's evidence, including records of interviews with Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett and two labor backers of Obama, Thomas Balanoff and Andy Stern.
Zagel indicated he might rule on the request Jan. 27.
Defense attorneys said there was no way to tell whether it would be necessary to question Obama or whether it would even be allowed. Adam said, however, that "we might as well get started now" finding out by getting an early look at the records.
In other action, Zagel warned attorneys on both sides to tone down the language they use when corresponding with each other.
The issue arose over a letter sent by Adam's father, Sam Adam, a member of the defense team known for his strong use of language, to prosecutors concerning what attorneys are allowed to say about the case at news conferences.
Adam declined to quote the letter but said that "anybody who knows that my father was the author knows what kind of language was used."
Adam also said police have recovered two of the nine computers stolen in a burglary at his law office, apparently at a pawn shop, and that files pertaining to Blagojevich had not been tampered with.