U.S. Attorney Wants Blago Indictment Extension

Fitzgerald asks for 90 days

It's beginning to look like a Gov. Rod Blagojevich indictment won't be any time soon.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald on Wednesday asked for more time to return an indictment against the governor, saying the time is needed to review evidence and interview more potential defendants in the corruption investigation.
Under law, federal prosecutors normally have 30 days to file an indictment against a defendant. That deadline would have been Jan. 7, and the 90-day extension Fitzgerald wants would give prosecutors until April 7 instead.
Authorities arrested Blagojevich on Dec. 9 on corruption charges that accuse him of trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat and to pressure the Chicago Tribune to fire editorial writers.

Blagojevich has denied any wrongdoing.
He has vowed to stay in office and has continued working. On Tuesday, he announced former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris as his pick to replace Obama in the Senate.
In Wednesday's motion, prosecutors ask for more time to review phone calls intercepted between late October and early December and say they need to interview more witnesses.
"Multiple witnesses have come forward in recent weeks to discuss their knowledge of criminal activity in relation to the ongoing investigation," according to the motion.
The document also hints at the possibility that more individuals could be charged.
"The government has been conducting a diligent and thorough investigation in this case, but the investigation includes multiple defendants and potential defendants," according to the document.   

U.S. Attorney spokesman Randall Samborn declined to give further details.
According to the motion, attorneys for Blagojevich and his former chief of staff John Harris, who was also arrested, have not objected to the extension.
Blagojevich attorney Ed Genson declined to comment Wednesday, saying he does not comment on pending litigation.
A federal judge is scheduled to review the motion at a court hearing Monday afternoon.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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