Delay In Trial Means Relief For Rahm

Rahm Emanuel might be breathing a sigh of relief right now, since one potentially major obstacle to his becoming mayor of Chicago just got pushed aside.

Emanuel's name is expected to come up again during testimony at Rod Blagojevich's second trial at a federal courthouse in Chicago, for allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama's former Senate seat.   According to testimony from the first trial, the former White House chief of staff met with and spoke to Blagojevich several times about the vacant Senate seat, hoping to persuade Blagojevich to choose a replacement from a list approved by Obama.  Emanuel has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Blagojevich was charged with 24 counts, including extortion and racketeering.  That trial ended in August with a mostly hung jury on all but one count of lying to federal authorities. 

The second trial was originally scheduled for this January, which means it would've been headline news right in the middle of Chicago's mayoral election in February.  But Friday, defense attorneys successfully convinced federal judge James Zagel to delay trial until April 20th, so they could have more time to get ready for their case.

Emanuel's spokespeople, who could not be reached for comment, seem to be trying to downplay the upcoming trial.

Blagojevich's defense team could call Emanuel as a witness.  "I'm not ruling it out....We haven't made any decision on that yet" said attorney Sheldon Sorosky.