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*** UPDATED x1 *** Blagojevich hurls allegations at Obama in bid to force testimony

Thursday, Apr 22, 2010

* Rod Blagojevich’s attorneys filed a motion today to subpoena President Obama to testify at the former governor’s trial

“President Obama has direct knowledge to allegations made in the indictment. In addition, President Obama’s public statements contradict other witness statements, specifically those made by labor union official and Senate Candidate B,” the motion said.

The motion is here. Several parts are redacted, but you can easily copy and paste the entire motion into a text file and view all the redacted material. Oops on somebody’s part.

* All of the most explosive allegations in the motion were redacted.

Blagojevich’s lawyers allege that Tony Rezko admitted to violating the law by personally contributing “a large sum of cash” to a public official’s campaign, which the Blagojevich people say is Obama.

The lawyers claim that Obama may not have been telling the truth when he said Rezko never relayed a request from a lobbyist to hold a fundraiser for Obama in exchange for favorable legislative action (Obama, however, refused to agree to the offer, Rezko allegedly says).

They also claim that Obama allegedly lied when he said he didn’t have any conversations with Rezko about a casino license…

In a recent in camera proceeding, the government tendered a three paragraph letter indicating that Rezko “has stated in interviews with the government that he engaged in election law violations by personally contributing a large sum of cash to the campaign of a public official who is not Rod Blagojevich. … Further, the public official denies being aware of cash contributions to his campaign by Rezko or others and denies having conversations with Rezko related to cash contributions.

Rezko has also stated in interviews with the government that he believed he transmitted a quid pro quo offer from a lobbyist to the public official, whereby the lobbyist would hold a fundraiser for the official in exchange for favorable official action, but that the public official rejected the offer. The public official denies any such conversation.

In addition, Rezko has stated to the government that he and the public official had certain conversations about gaming legislation and administration, which the public official denies having had.

President Obama is the only one who can testify as to the veracity of Mr. Rezko’s allegations above.

A redacted footnote offers further explanation…

The defense has a good faith belief that this public official is Barack Obama.

As its proof, the Blagojevich people reference a 2006 Sun-Times story…

Senator Barack Obama was asked: “Did Rezko or his companies ever solicit your support on any matter involving state or federal government? Did Al Johnson, who was trying to get a casino license along with Tony Rezko, or Rezko himself ever discuss casino matters with you?”

Senator Obama answered: “No, I have never been asked to do anything to advance his business interest. In 1999, when I was a State Senator, I opposed legislation to bring a casino to Rosemont and allow casino gambling at docked riverboats which news reports said Al Johnson and Tony Rezko were interested in being part of. I never discussed a casino license with either of them. I was a vocal opponent of the legislation.”

* The rest of the redacted stuff mostly involves claims by the Blagojevich team that Barack Obama was not totally truthful during FBI questioning. “Senate Candidate B” is Valerie Jarrett, who is now one of three senior advisers to the president…

9. Yet, despite President Obama stating that no representatives of his had any part of any deals, labor union president told the FBI and the United States Attorneys that he
spoke to labor union official on November 3, 2008 who received a phone message from Obama that evening. After labor union official listened to the message labor union official told labor union president “I’m the one”. Labor union president took that to mean that labor union official was to be the one to deliver the message on behalf of Obama that Senate Candidate B was his pick.

10. Labor union official told the FBI and the United States Attorneys “Obama expressed his belief that [Senate Candidate B] would be a good Senator for the people of Illinois and would be a candidate who could win re-election. [Labor union official] advised Obama that [labor union official] would reach out to Governor Blagojevich and advocate for [Senate Candidate B].. . . [Labor union official] called [labor union president] and told [labor union president] that Obama was aware that [labor union official] would be reaching out to Blagojevich.” (Labor union official 302, February 3, 2009 p. 3).

11. According to Senate Candidate B, on November, 4 2008, Senate Candidate B spoke with labor union official about the Senate seat. Labor union official said he spoke to Obama. Labor union official said he was going to meet with Blagojevich and said “he was going to push Blagojevich hard on this.

* There is also an allegation of an attempted quid pro quo on the Jarrett Senate appointment…

Supporter of Presidential Candidate Obama is mentioned in a phone call on November 3, 2008, having offered “fundraising” in exchange for Senate Candidate B for senator (Blagojevich Home Phone Call # 149).

…Adding… Obama allegedly shot down former Senate President Emil Jones’ name when it was floated by the Blagojevich team as a possible Senate appointment. And Rahm Emanuel floated Cheryle Jackson’s name…

President’s Chief of Staff told the FBI that he had a conversation discussing the Senate seat with Obama on December 7, 2008 in Obama’s car. President’s Chief of Staff told the FBI “Obama expressed concern about Senate Candidate D being appointed as Senator.

“[President’s Chief of Staff] suggested they might need an expanded list to possibly include names of African Americans that came out of the business world. [President’s Chief of Staff] thought he suggested Senate Candidate E who was the head of the Urban League and with President’s Chief of Staff’s suggestion.”

*** UPDATE *** The New York Times hasn’t figured out that the redactions can be seen…

Judging from what can be seen of the motion, which is full of blacked-out sentences and words (to comply with rules about sealed information), Mr. Blagojevich’s lawyers are hoping the president himself will point up contradictions in the prosecution case and testify about whether he had sent “emissaries” to Mr. Blagojevich with regard to who the White House would prefer fill the Senate seat.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


89 Comments
  1. - Living in Oklahoma - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 12:54 pm:

    WOW. Hot Rod is really throwing the bombs.


  2. - Former Card Carrying Repub - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 12:57 pm:

    RB’s attorney’s, through RB, seem to hoping for a “Hollywood” moment.

    I think RB wants to be known as the person who brought the BO presidency to it’s knees.

    RB is a nut-job.


  3. - Whatever - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    As much as GRod is a despicable character, as a defendant, he may have a point here. Just like Nixon and Clinton, no Pres. is above the law, even the saintly Barack. While Barack isn’t in any personal legal jeopardy, there clearly were conversations back-and-forth between the WH and the Gov. about this appointment. Barack should be compelled to testify — video deposition is totally appropriate — but shouldn’t be given a free pass.


  4. - OneMan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    So here is a dumb question, can the media report on the redacted material since all it takes it cut and paste to see it…

    Heck those folks cheering Rod yesterday may have been Republicans…


  5. - Brennan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    Nice work Aaron “http://notguiltyinchicago.com/” Goldstein.


  6. - OneMan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:07 pm:

    Also trying to toss President Obama into this is a smart move by Rod, it will play into his whole ‘I can’t get a fair trial’ argument.


  7. - Northsider - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:09 pm:

    It’s Rod Blagojevich, folks. I’d even double- and triple-check if he says the sky is blue.


  8. - Responsa - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:10 pm:

    Well, honestly, we all knew something like this Obama card would eventually surface with respect to RRB’s defense tactics didn’t we? Not really a surprise. He’s hinted at it (the smoking gun) often. Jarrett in the mix has always felt like it might be problematic for the president in regard to his old senate seat, too. I mean Valerie would not necessarily have been anybody’s obvious choice for consideration for the seat had she not been so close to the Obamas. This trial is going to be riveting–and messy. Fasten your seatbelts.


  9. - Brennan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:12 pm:

    So Blagojevich thinks that Rezko had a quid pro quo with an unnamed public official that is not Blagojevich. They think that public official is Barack Obama.

    How much longer until Team Rod subpoenas Eric Holder as well?


  10. - Really?? - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:13 pm:

    Desperate and pathetic.


  11. - Amalia - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:20 pm:

    when you’re going down, bring it all down with you.

    sure Zagel runs the show, and the jury will have to disregard things. but between the things that get objected out, but are heard by human ears, and the press nonsense that will surely
    continue by someone in some form, they are out to get
    out any and all information that will dirty up those who
    are connected to Rezko. watch out all.


  12. - John Bambenek - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:25 pm:

    The pleading wasn’t Rod’s, it was his lawyers… and there are penalties for knowingly making false statements in pleadings. Sure, you can push it pretty far, but there are limits when you’re filing papers in court that just aren’t present when you’re bomb-throwing in a press conference.


  13. - Secret Square - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:29 pm:

    This is no surprise at all. After all, Blago thinks HE ought to be in the White House right now and despises Obama for “ruining” his best shot at becoming president.


  14. - George - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:35 pm:

    I liked the part where they went to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary for the definition of the word “Deal.”

    Is this third grade?


  15. - zatoichi - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:39 pm:

    This sure sounds like the ‘get a big shovelful and toss it at a wall to what sticks’ defense. There has to be a large number of ex-state employees who are just smiling/snickering whenever they read about these allegations followed up with RB themed expletives.


  16. - Bill - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:41 pm:

    LOL!


  17. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:43 pm:

    This is not a surprise. Blagojevich was our governor and party leader. In 2002, he was THE player. Emanuel wanted his old job, Obama was itching to fulfill his legacy stuck in the GA - Rod Blagojevich was someone to work with, along with his buddies.

    Now he’s radioactive, panicking and angry. I expect Rod Blagojevich to go after his old friends, who are now Friends-In-High-Places pretending they never heard of him. Blagojevich will not go down quietly, because Rod Blagojevich has never been quiet.

    There is going to have to be some bargaining with him in order to keep him quiet. What he and his lawyers are now doing is racheting up the pressure in the White House to catch a break.


  18. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:45 pm:

    I’ve thought from the moment of Rod’s impeachment that, with all the time he and his lawyers would have between then and the start of the trial, any number of claims and theories will come out. I assume he will throw as many state reps & senators, agency officials, lobbyists and organization presidents under the bus when his trial officially begins. As he should. I know that sounds nuts - and Blago is nuts - but he and his attorneys have every legal right to call witnesses and raise questions as to the quid-pro-quos and back-scratching that may have taken place during Rod’s six years as governor. Rod didn’t get elected and re-elected on his own. It took a lot of leg work, fundraising and networking to put this man in office. There was a lot of horse trading, and Rod & his senior staff surely embraced those actions to repay campaign “debt” and help pass laws.

    I hope no one is shocked that the Obama transition team would have discussed Illinois’s new senator with Blago. In the same vein as my first paragraph, I have no problem with Blago bringing President Obama into the fold. Let him or his upper-level advisors answer questions. They’re all from Chicago and, unless we’re in bizarro world, would have all been intimately involved in the naming of our senator. I would rather the truth come out and Obama clear his name than watch our sitting President sit quietly and take shots from our deposed governor.


  19. - George - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:47 pm:

    So, does this mean Rod is gunning for a Fox News Special and a TLC Reality Show “Rod on the Pipeline”?


  20. - Secret Square - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:53 pm:

    Is it just me or can I hear the phones at Blago’s publicist’s office ringing off the hook all the way from Springpatch :-)


  21. - Leave a Light on George - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:53 pm:

    I always thought it showed a good deal of disrespect for the office when it was reported that Mike Madigan would not take Gov. Blago’s phone calls. Nut job or not he was the Governor after all. Now I see what a stroke of genius that decision was.


  22. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:01 pm:

    Alot of this could be true. It was always very suspicous that they stopped the investigation when they did and arrested Blago. Seems like the US attorney and FBI didnt want someone to be on tape buying the senate seat. Usually the FBI lets the actual bribe take place and then they have both sides for committing a crime. I doubt Obama himself was involved in these discussions but Jarrett and Emanuel seem to have been in the mix. The Feds cut it short for no good reason to protect who or whomm from making a bid on the US Senate seat.


  23. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:02 pm:

    ===It was always very suspicous that they stopped the investigation when they did and arrested Blago. ===

    Rod? Is that you?


  24. - dupage dan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:12 pm:

    The card game equivalent is called “shooting the moon”. It promises to be one hot summer.


  25. - Brennan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:27 pm:

    Rich: You’re right. The timing of the arrest was standard US Attorney procedure.


  26. - Former State Employee 2 - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:40 pm:

    - zatoichi - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 1:39 pm:

    This sure sounds like the ‘get a big shovelful and toss it at a wall to what sticks’ defense. There has to be a large number of ex-state employees who are just smiling/snickering whenever they read about these allegations followed up with RB themed expletives.

    You got that right.


  27. - Logical Thinker - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:41 pm:

    The suspicious part of the arrest is it came the day after Blago and JJJ met in the State of Illinois building. Both of them emerged from the meeting with big, wide grins on their faces.

    Little did they know that the feds were listening in. I’m almost positive that there were financial terms discussed in this meeting. Can I prove it? No. But you can certainly connect the dots from the time of the arrest to the very strong and unusual comments Fitz made the next day about a crime in progress.


  28. - Squideshi - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:44 pm:

    Worse redacting ever. [Insert Simpson’s “ha ha”.]


  29. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:45 pm:

    “Rich: You’re right. The timing of the arrest was standard US Attorney procedurelly”

    . Really did the US attorney arrest Congressman William Jefferson before he accepted the Bribe. NO. Ever hear of ABSCAM those congressman were not arrested before the bribes took place. Greaylord? Just talking about selling verdicts wasnt enough it actually happened. Silvershovel? Alderman didnt just ask for bribes and then get arrested they were arrested after the bribes were paid.


  30. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:47 pm:

    We’re talking here about an alleged illegal appointment to the United States Senate. It’s more than a bit different than the other cases you mentioned.


  31. - George - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:50 pm:

    Worse redacting ever

    Are you so sure it was unintentional?


  32. - dupage dan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:50 pm:

    I just realized - fed up is really Jesse Ventura.


  33. - really? - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 2:51 pm:

    Does anyone believe that Rod’s rantings since he was arrested and indicted make the claims in the pleading less creditable? His attempts at tainting the jury pool may actually work against him.


  34. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:09 pm:

    Rich Why stop the investigation before the Bribe “an alleged illegal appointment to the United States Senate” takes place?
    Rod was looking for payment to provide a service just like the other congressman.


  35. - Brennan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:09 pm:

    What was Patrick Fitzgerald’s job security in December 2008? You know the US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President.

    Clinton fired them all just after his inauguration.


  36. - RJW - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:13 pm:

    This should really be no surprise to anyone. Rod Blagojevich is such a disgusting, sleazy person. He has no concept of the world outside of himself. Of course he throws accusations at the President. Why not? Everyone is out to get him, so you might as well go straight to the top.

    Serious mental illness is involved here. I would argue for not guilty by reason of insanity. I would testify on his behalf having worked for the state during his tenure.


  37. - RJW - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:14 pm:

    fed up:

    You obviously don’t understand the situation or the charges very well. Or, you are just a conspiracy theory nut when it comes to Obama.


  38. - (Formerly) Angry Republican - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:20 pm:

    “Worse redacting ever”. Not quite; the TSA did the very same thing with a document that completely outlined their security procedures. The document also included examples of ID badges from various government entities. The legal industry really needs to hire more IT people.

    This should not be a surprise to anyone; Blago will not go quietly.


  39. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:23 pm:

    No I do understand the charges and I dont really believe in conspiracys, not 9/11 not the birth certificate, not area 51. Just why stop the investigation before he accepts a payment for the appointment of US senator? Maybe Jessie jr maybe Emanuel maybe Jarret could of been Burris but someone was going to buy that seat and it was going to be on tape. To say you stoped it to protect the legitimacy of the US senate was a joke by Fitzgerald.


  40. - the Patriot - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:26 pm:

    Look, Obama had ties to Rezko, but I doubt Rod can put him in the room on the Senate deal. The Obama-Tony ties have been pretty much exhausted and no one seemed to care.

    Obama was tied to Rezko. Obama knew Blago was a crook. He benefited both directly, and indirectly from both.

    It actually presents the Constitutional Question that could keep Blago out of Jail. Assuming we all agree Obama is not dumb enough to be any where near this trial, can Rod get a fair trial if he cannot call a witness to either confirm or deny the substance of wiretap evidence?

    Its not a bomb and its not a joke. He knows Obama won’t come and probably hopes he doesn’t. He needs this for the Appeal.


  41. - Cosmic Charlie - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:31 pm:

    I think Fitz went ahead with the arrest reluctantly. I think it forced his hand at a time when he would have preferred to wait and conclude his own investigation. As we have seen with him and other US Attys, they like to have everything air tight and then pounce. Here they had to react to what they perceived to be irreversible criminal activity. Could you imagine the outcry (justifiable) that would have occured if Fitz allowed the sale/appointment to go forward and then issue an indictment? He had no choice and had to make a tough call IMO.


  42. - Secret Square - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:33 pm:

    “We’re talking here about an alleged illegal appointment to the United States Senate.”

    Indeed, and if that appointment had actually been made, the subsequent firestorm would have made the Roland Burris fiasco look like a walk in the park. Could the illegally appointed Senator have been expelled or denied his seat? If that had happened, who would have taken his place?


  43. - RJW - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:35 pm:

    I don’t think it was a joke. They did not want to have an appointment actually happen and then have to deal with the potential consequences of such an appointment. There wouldn’t have been a trial right away so then the question becomes does the appointee get to be seated or not. Yes, the Senate could refuse to seat the appointee, but then we have no Senator for goodness knows how long. The whole thing was a big mess and I just don’t think they knew exactly how to handle it so they took the route they thought best. I guess they could have waited for the “exchange” to take place but may have been thinking about the Constitutional issues of a tainted Senate appointment.


  44. - George - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:35 pm:

    “No I do understand the charges and I dont really believe in conspiracys, not 9/11 not the birth certificate, not area 51.” - fed up

    Ummm… dude. Area 51 is not a conspiracy theory. It exists. Its even on Google Maps.


  45. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:40 pm:

    Ummm… dude. Area 51 is not a conspiracy theory. It exists. Its even on Google Maps. sorry I ment alien cover up at area 51


  46. - D.P. Gumby - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:44 pm:

    Ya know…maybe we could get a double bill of Blago and Sarah Palin???


  47. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:49 pm:

    If Obama has to show up somehow at his trial, Blagojevich is going to be in heaven. His chance to show the world that he can make a president of the United States show up because of him, Rod Blagojevich - his dopamine will just explode!


  48. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:52 pm:

    Make the arrests after Blago accepts the bribe either before the news confrence where he makes the announcement of who he appoints there will be time he would of scheduled a news confrence at least a day ahead of time. Or before Jessie White certifys the appointment.


  49. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 3:55 pm:

    Obama isnt showing and Blago will say it will keep him from putting forth a defense. Dont see this judge buying it, but the appeal in a few years will be interesting.


  50. - dupage dan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 4:03 pm:

    DP Gumby, how silly is it that you feel that you have to introduce irrelevant stuff into this conversation?


  51. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 4:15 pm:

    This may or may not be true…but I doubt Obama will ever be called to the witness stand…this just shows how deeply jealous Rod is of Obama…save your own ass buddy, don’t worry about implicating anyone else…


  52. - Walter - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 4:20 pm:

    Today’s events raise some interesting questions. Although, Obama isn’t going to show up even if he has relevant testimony. Why didn’t Fitzgerald indict Blagojevich earlier? Fitzgerald has accused Blago of committing crimes from the day he took office, why wasn’t he indicted earlier? Why did Fitzgerald wait until an alleged Senate seat sale went down? Can Fitzgerald have it both ways? It’s interesting that the Rosemont casino came up . Why ? Because Blagojevich brought Eric Holder in to make Rosemont look clean, even though Lisa Madigan put her foot down. This all shows that Blagojevich, Rezko, and Obama all are tied together and very closely. When Obama ran for President the media could have investigated this in detail but were more interested in what’s in Sarah Palin’s garabe cans. Maybe, they should have focused in on why John “No Nose” DiFronzo wanted a casino in the same town Rod Blagojevich wanted one. Who can deny the Rosemont casino license is worth a heck of lot more than Obama’s Senate seat?


  53. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 4:21 pm:

    It’s not a surprise that Blago subpoenaed Obama, is it? That ’s been there from the beginning.

    If I read it correctly, Blago claims to know how Rezko would testify on certain questions. I doubt if they’ve talked recently.

    Where it Tony, anyway?

    What we’re going to do is revisit a time when Obama was way too close than Rthan he should have been. That’s been vetted, and, obviously, he got away with it.


  54. - Walter - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 4:29 pm:

    Since no one knows where Tony Rezko is, we can assume he’s getting a good deal. After all, he’s Obama’s real estate fairy. Without Rezko, there would have been no Barack Obama career. This is what makes Rod upset. Rod’s going down , when Obama isn’t much better than him in the ethics department.


  55. - Amalia - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 4:40 pm:

    Walter asks why Fitzgerald didn’t indict Blago earlier. and we can also ask why the Legislature did not impeach him earlier.
    so much was already out there that Illinois could have been Blagoless earlier.


  56. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 4:45 pm:

    Walter, go with that. Another victim heard from.


  57. - dupage dan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 4:48 pm:

    I wonder where TonyR is as well. His sentencing hearing has been on hold - I’m sure he will have to produce at RBs trial before Fitzgerald will make a recommendation. “The waiting is the hardest part”.


  58. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 4:53 pm:

    Again: let’s remember Blago’s don’t impeach me speech on the Senate floor when he asked a very relevant question: ” If some of these impeachable
    acts occurred during my first term, why didn’t you begin proceedings then”? At the very least, I’d like to see some members of the General Assembly take the stand during the trial and answer this query under oath…


  59. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 5:01 pm:

    Nobody reads the newspapers anymore. *sigh*

    IIRC, Tony is still at the MCC. Maybe he’s talking, maybe he isn’t. Only the feds and Rod’s defense team know for sure. He’s already serving his sentence, even though he hasn’t yet been officially sentenced (yes, it is confusing).

    As for Fed Up’s question about the timing of the arrest: again, read a newspaper. In this case, read the Chicago Tribune from December 2008, more specifically the front page edition a few days before the arrest where it announced Rod was being recorded by the feds. Sheesh.

    How much evidence do you think the feds were going to collect once the entire world knew Rod had been bugged? The only thing left to do at that point was put him in handcuffs.

    This is supposed to be an insiders’ blog. Some days it sure is hard to tell.


  60. - Way South of the Border - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 5:17 pm:

    The folks who are asking why he wasn’t impeached or arrested earlier must live on planet Wishing Makes It So.

    Look how hard the feds are working to build a case with the evidence they were able to collect up to the time of his arrest. Now dial back six years. What do you have? A lot of us had a very creepy feeling about the guy, but little else.

    It takes time to build a case that can withstand the rigors of a system that presume innocence.

    If you have a bone to pick with the people who rubbed elbows with Blago during his time in office, good on you. Deplore them. Pound your shoe on the table.

    But your displeasure over that doesn’t bear on the government’s case against him. It is just more of that smoke Blago’s blowing in your eyes.


  61. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 5:31 pm:

    47, you have anything more recent that this UPI story?

    Blago witness Rezko moved to new jail

    February 03, 2009

    Tony Rezko, a Chicago businessman linked to President Barack Obama and Illinois’ former governor, has been moved to a new federal lockup, a U.S. marshal said.

    Kim Widup, the head marshal in Chicago, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Rezko was transferred to an unspecified facility from the downtown Metropolitan Correction Center last month.

    Widup wouldn’t reveal the current whereabouts of Rezko, who is considered a potential witness in the upcoming federal corruption trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed from office by the state Legislature.

    The newspaper said Tuesday that Rezko had been grousing about being held in solitary confinement at MCC and that the transfer could indicate that federal prosecutors want to keep him cooperative.

    UPI


  62. - Area 2 - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 5:35 pm:

    When are the Federales going to come clean with the relevance between the Burge investigation-related event that too place at Jackson Park Hospital mere hours before Blago’s arrest?


  63. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 5:39 pm:

    Also, to be clear, Rezko is not serving his sentence. He has not been sentenced. He is somewhere in federal custody awaiting sentencing– where, why, no one knows.

    Tony had more deals going on than those in Illinois with Democrats and Republicans. He was doing a lot of business in Iraq when those pallets of Benjamins were disappearing.


  64. - Gregor - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 6:02 pm:

    Well, Blago shot his biggest bolt with this, apparently in order to intimidate the feds into a deal. I think what’s going to happen instead is that he just lost Patti whatever protection she had.

    Rod is crazy enough to play chicken with a train (suggestion for tomorrows music video?). The feds are not going to flinch for this, they invented this game and they are going to come ahead all the harder now, and when they win, they are going to go for a longer sentence as well.


  65. - DuPage Dan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 6:23 pm:

    Area 2,

    Maybe you are Jesse Ventura. Do you still wear your hair in that long in back and bald on top? Or maybe you go for the trim look and just shave it all? I’d go for the second look.


  66. - Park - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 6:37 pm:

    Good for you Rich…can’t believe you got the full document figured out so fast. Funny as heck that the NYT is still ’speculating’.

    Whatever happens happens. I just want the truth, whole truth, and as many facts about this disfunctional government as possible. My guess is that Obama figured out Blago’s sliminess years ago, and had no inclination to wheel and deal with him.


  67. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 6:45 pm:

    47th ward “How much evidence do you think the feds were going to collect once the entire world knew Rod had been bugged? The only thing left to do at that point was put him in handcuffs.”

    Enough to put someone else in cuffs. Fitgerald stated that the arrest was to prevent a “crime spree” Blago wasnt going on this crime spree alone. The Trib headline didnt scare off people from making bids on the senate seat.


  68. - Mike O - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 8:06 pm:

    Suggesting candidates to fill the senate seat you’re leaving seems pretty commonplace, and even expected, to me.

    Why would he deny doing something that seems perfectly reasonable to do?

    Attempting to cover up an innocent act can only mean there was quid pro quo and Obama was well aware of it.


  69. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 8:39 pm:

    –There is going to have to be some bargaining with him in order to keep him quiet. What he and his lawyers are now doing is racheting up the pressure in the White House to catch a break.–

    Not a chance. Any fool in the White House who would try to pressure Fitz on this case would end up before a grand jury for obstruction of justice.

    Fitz is untouchable in this case, just as he was with Scooter Libby.


  70. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 8:45 pm:

    Brennan, did I get you right? Clinton fired all US Attorneys shortly after he was inaugurated?


  71. - Sticky Situation - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 9:24 pm:

    As said in earlier post to Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 12:31 pm:

    Those tapes lead to some very powerful people. If Rod goes down, he’s going take the boatload down with him.


  72. - Peoria Joe - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 9:41 pm:

    Rich,
    Are you sure that the “mistake” on the redacted material was really a mistake? Could it have possibly been intentional?


  73. - Gregor - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 9:52 pm:

    Joe, the kremlinologists would say yes to that question, the answer may come from asking which side released the document, the feds? Or Rod? The feds have no motive for the leak. If some office temp at the Court did it, it may well be an honest mistake. If rod’s side released it this way… Rod has every motive to hang a jury and get a mistrial. That is his whole strategy now, and it fits his passive-aggressive behavioral M.O.


  74. - jaded voter - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 10:16 pm:

    fed up,

    you are correct. something is off about this “pre-emptive arrest”. [seems like it was done to ‘protect’ others] something is off about the rant fitz went on after the arrest. highly unusual.

    blago is a clown and a weasel and always was. he is guilty as sin of many offenses. his arrogance is boundless. but just cause he is guilty doesn’t mean that alot of people around him aren’t dirty too. blago talks alot of garbage but i wouldn’t dismiss all of it.

    blago scares alot of people because he’s not playing by the normal rules. blago is like the modern jihadi terrorist. he might be willing to die[go down] to take down everyone else with him. how do yo defend against that.

    in the end the jury will decide. i predict all related co-defendants will be convicted, but not rod. rod’s foul the jury pool extravaganza will pay dividends. no matter what evidence is presented, the gov’t won’t get all 12 jurors to convict the furball clown.


  75. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 10:19 pm:

    ===The Trib headline didnt scare off people from making bids on the senate seat.===

    fed up, did you just move here? Seriously dude, read a newspaper or click on the links Rich provides, like the proffer the prosecution filed last week. It clearly shows evidence that Rod, Rob and Harris talked about “undoing” certain “deals” after they learned they’d been bugged.

    You can’t make stuff up here and pass it off like we’re all morons too.


  76. - Brennan - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 10:58 pm:

    =Clinton fired all US Attorneys shortly after he was inaugurated?=

    Affirmative Steve. Ironically, Clinton chose Eric Holder as the US Attorney for Washington DC as he concluded the investigation of Dan Rostenkowski with the eventual indictment and conviction.


  77. - Ed - Thursday, Apr 22, 10 @ 11:02 pm:

    I’ve always wondered if there was a Muslim/Serb element in this what would seem typical Chicago political scandal.


  78. - Thelowedown - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:12 am:

    Blago’s peeps are trying to claim Obama sent reps from WH yet he wasn’t even inaugurated yet. Blows a hole in their bs right there.


  79. - Moriah - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 2:26 am:

    Hot Rod knows where the bodies are buried. For him this may not be such a good thing. Is he going to fall on his sword and try to take the untouchable one with him?


  80. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 6:56 am:

    The way I read this, Blago is asking Obama to testify that Rezko is a liar. Not exactly earthshaking, but it helps Blago, of course.

    Convicted felons testify in criminal trials all the time. It’s presumed they’ve spent a lifetime lying about matters big and small. The trick for the prosecution is getting corroboration of the relevant testimony.

    No sitting president has ever been forced to testify in a criminal trial. I doubt Zagel will be making history here.

    As far as the “message” to the White House, take off the tinfoil hats. Bush wasn’t dumb enough to mess with Fitz in the Libby trial, and he liked Libby more than anyone in the current White House likes Blago.


  81. - Peoria Joe - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 7:04 am:

    Thelowedown
    “Blago’s peeps are trying to claim Obama sent reps from WH yet he wasn’t even inaugurated yet. Blows a hole in their bs right there. ”
    You are not right.
    Obama had won the election, so this was his WH transition team doing its job.


  82. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 7:22 am:

    Emanuel and Axelrod got Obama in trouble over the Senate seat shortly after the 2008 election.

    From the public record, after Blago’s arrest, Emanuel told the FBI that he talked with Blago a couple of times after the election about the seat, and to Harris four times.

    This alleged smartest guy in the room talked business with Blago even though everyone knew the feds were closing in and it was likely people might be listening. What a stupid, reckless act — Blago could have said anything.

    Axelrod compounded the problem by saying in a press interview that Obama had talked about the Senate seat to Blago. He later walked it back and said he misspoke, and Obama said he did not talk to Blago.

    But it did lead to Pres.-elect Obama being interviewed on the matter for two hours by the FBI — a dangerous proposition for anyone. You “misspeak” with those guys, and you can find yourself facing federal charges.


  83. Pingback Stop Liberal Lies - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:28 am:

    […] The former governor’s lawyers also claim that Tony Rezko admitted he violated federal election laws by personally contributing “a large sum of cash” to an unnamed public official believed to be Obama. […]


  84. Pingback Blog Round-up on Blago’s Redaction Boo-Boo « Nice Deb - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:33 am:

    […] The former governor’s lawyers also claim that Tony Rezko admitted he violated federal election laws by personally contributing “a large sum of cash” to an unnamed public official believed to be Obama. […]


  85. - 47th Ward - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 4:37 pm:

    Nice catch on the article Word, I stand corrected.

    But he is still in federal custody and while he has not been sentenced yet, this time will count against whatever sentence is imposed.

    And who knew the UPI was still in business?


  86. Pingback Blago’s metadata is showing! « Law and Conversation - Saturday, Apr 24, 10 @ 7:49 am:

    […]  Illinois papers such as the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times  are reporting that, due to a computer “glitch,” allegations in Blago’s motion for the court to issue a subpoena to President Barack Obama were not fully blacked out, as had been intended.  The Tribune put up the motion here , helpfully providing tools so we can all see what Blago’s legal team tried unsuccessfully to redact.  Rich Miller’s The Capitol Fax Blog also had commentary. […]


  87. Pingback Republicans attack, Palin-panic reverse, NC swinging, Obama lied | Blithe Spirit - Saturday, Apr 24, 10 @ 11:21 am:

    […] ” . . . a lot of stirring out there,” said Rep. David Price  (D-N.C.). “A lot of the people who worked very hard to put the state in the blue column are still at it, but we know we’re a swing state. We know that there’s a lot of political diversity and we have a lot of work to do.” Etc. Wash Examiner has Blago-lawyers’ motion accusing Obama of lying in public statements, based on testimony by Valerie Jarrett and Tony Rezko: President Obama’s public statements contradict other witness statements, specifically those made by labor union official and Senate Candidate B [believed to be White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett],” the motion said. The former governor’s lawyers also claim that Tony Rezko admitted he violated federal election laws by personally contributing “a large sum of cash” to an unnamed public official believed to be Obama. Blago’s lawyers also accused Obama of not telling FBI agents the truth when he said Rezko never relayed a quid pro quo offer from a lobbyist who wanted to hold a fundraiser for Obama in exchange for favorable legislation, and again when he denied having any conversations with Rezko about a license for a casino linked to the Chicago mob. That said, we presume it’s a sideshow, except that stuff like this builds up. (All of it following leads from Steve Bartin’s excellent News Alert.) Tags: Republican+committee, Blagojevich, Sarah+Palin […]


  88. Pingback Stop Liberal Lies - Monday, Apr 26, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    […] The motion, intended to be heavily redacted, was improperly edited — the full document was easily viewable if the text is copied and pasted to another document (an error first revealed on Capitol Fax). […]


  89. Pingback bruceb consulting – news » REDACTION DANGER - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 1:43 am:

    […] So it’s hardly a surprise to see another story in the news yesterday about a botched attempt to redact words from a legal document. The legal team for failed Celebrity Apprentice Rod Blagojevich filed a motion in his corruption trial seeking to compel testimony from President Obama. The papers were filled with elaborate blacked-out portions, purportedly to comply with the court’s rulings on sealed information. The redactions were done improperly and the redacted material could be read instantly by anyone with a clue. […]


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