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Blagojevich Indictment Deadline Extended

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jan 5, 2009 8:00PM

2009_01_05_blago.jpg U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is breathing a sigh of relief this afternoon after U.S. Chief District Court Judge James Holderman granted Fitzy's request to extend the deadline for indicting Gov. Rod Blagojevich until April 7. The original deadline was, uh, this Wednesday. Fitzy had filed the request last week, claiming the case's complex nature was the reason more time was needed.

The government charged Blagojevich in a criminal complaint, citing the need for speed to keep him from allegedly making a deal to sell his appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder. But it must seek a formal indictment because defendants cannot be tried on criminal complaints, which can only initiate a federal criminal case.
Meanwhile, the feds are back in court today to ask Judge Holderman to released certain segments of the now infamous Blago Tapes to the state legislature committee currently investigating whether or not to recommend impeachment of the governor. Good thing there's nothing else happening to distract the committee from moving forward with the proceedings.

AP Photo/Paul Beaty