Fitzgerald asks for extension on indictments in Blago probe

Patrick Fitzgerald has asked the federal court for a 90-day extension on seeking indictments against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  That could be seen as an indication that Fitzgerald hasn’t found enough evidence to gain an indictment yet, but Fitzgerald’s motion makes it sound as if he’s having the opposite problem:

In the motion filed Wednesday, prosecutors ask for more time because “multiple witnesses” have come forward in recent weeks and investigators have to review “thousands of intercepted phone calls.”

Normally, prosecutors would have to have indictments ready within 30 days of filing a complaint.  Blagojevich got arrested on December 9th, which would have given Fitzgerald only until January 7th to get the grand jury to indict him.  Given the holidays, that would have been tough enough, but a flood of witnesses will make sifting through the information even harder for the panel. If he doesn’t get the extension, Fitzgerald can press for at least one indictment and have the grand jury continue its work.

The claim that investigators have “thousands of intercepted phone calls” to peruse should have Illinois politicians hiring every available attorney in Chicago and Springfield.  The scope of Fitzgerald’s probe sounds much larger than first thought. (via Ben Smith)