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Prosecutors Air Concerns Over Rod Blagojevich’s Participation in The Celebrity Apprentice

blagoYesterday we reported that the shamed former governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, is part of the cast of Donald Trump’s season three of The Celebrity Apprentice. Prosecutors aired concerns Monday over Blagojevich potentially tainting jury pools for his upcoming federal corruption trial by discussing evidence; something the embattled politician has repeatedly done in interviews.

The Celebrity Apprentice will air just as jurors are being chosen for the trial, which is scheduled to start June 3. Anything Blagojevich might say about the evidence may cause complications, said prosecutors to U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel. Mr. Blagojevich has “repeatedly commented on the evidence” during appearances on both TV and radio shows since he was indicted on charges of “scheming to trade or sell President Obama‘s former U.S. Senate seat” according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar.

Prosecutors did not ask Zagel to bar Blagojevich from going on the show though Judge Zagel has expressed similar concerns over Blagojevich’s participation in the hit NBC reality series. He told Blagojevich’s attorneys to work out an agreement with prosecutors that would allow Blagojevich to appear on the show but prevent the sort of incendiary remarks that might cause concern for the upcoming trial.

Zagel said that public statements by defendants about criminal charges they are facing could “create a certain amount of jeopardy for the defendant.” These remarks could also create “a problem that would cause me to have to make difficult judgments,” such as how far the government could go in presenting evidence to balance what the jury might have heard on the television show.

Blagojevich’s attorney, Samuel E. Adam, told reporters after court that it would be unfair to block Blagojevich from stating his innocence in public and that the language used by U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald when announcing the charges has already tainted the jury pool. Pay no mind to the audio recordings of Blagojevich actively trying to sell his “golden opportunity.”

During the initial news conference, Fitzgerald said that “Lincoln would roll over in his grave” due to Blagojevich’s alleged crimes.

Blagojevich was indicted on April 1st on federal corruption charges. He was denied a request to appear on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and his wife Patti later stepped in to compete on the reality show. NBC was asked about Blagojevich’s participation. The network responded with: “NBC doesn’t comment on casting until there’s an official announcement to be made.”

That official announcement of the cast of The Celebrity Apprentice is expected sometime this month.

Topics: The Celebrity Apprentice | Comments Off on Prosecutors Air Concerns Over Rod Blagojevich’s Participation in The Celebrity Apprentice

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