Judge orders Blagojevich not to tweet in court

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich not to tweet in court during his corruption trial. 

The flamboyant Blagojevich (D) — who was removed from office last year — had planned to live-tweet his trial under the handle @governorrod, which was created earlier this month.

The Chicago Tribune reported:

With opening statements set to begin in a few minutes, Judge Zagel has issued a ruling sure to make cyberspace all a-twitter. Or not.

Zagel just banned Blagojevich from tweeting from the courtroom. 

[snip]

The ex-governor will be allowed to continue speaking with the media and appearing on radio programs — at his own peril. 

Zagel told Blagojevich that his sound bites, quips and "repeated public statements" to the cameras could be used against him if he testifies during the trial.

"I'm quite sure it has been explained by his attorneys," Zagel said. 

Within about 24 hours of making his announcement, his Twitter follower count jumped from around 240 to more than 1,600. But he has only posted one tweet since Monday and it is almost certain he won't be able to go through with his current plan. 

Blagojevich was removed from office in 2009 after being arrested for federal corruption charges that included an alleged attempt to sell the Senate seat of now-President Barack Obama. He is barred from holding political office in the state again. 

Since being removed, Blagojevich has stayed in the spotlight, appearing on NBC's reality show "Celebrity Apprentice." He has always maintained his innocence, and his Twitter biography reflects that. It reads "Former governor of Illinois, host of talk radio program WLS and innocent of all charges. Follow my campaign to clear my name."

Cross-posted to Hillicon Valley