SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Smith “hounded for weeks” by federal mole

Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014

* Sun-Times

The pile of 70 crisp $100 bills had been neatly stacked into bundles.

“One, two, three, four, five — damn, stuck together, six, seven,” the federal mole counted out loud, as he handed over an alleged $7,000 bribe to state Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago.

“You don’t want me to give you yours now?” Smith replied as they sat together in his parked car on a West Side street.

“I’ll get at you later,” the mole told him, splitting without taking his cut.

Played in court for jurors Tuesday, a devastating audio recording of that March 10, 2012, conversation could land Smith in prison.

* But Eric Zorn points to this Tribune excerpt

State Rep. Derrick Smith had been hounded for weeks by a campaign worker intent on bringing him a $7,000 bribe from a day care worker who needed a letter of support to win a state grant. In secretly recorded conversations, the campaign worker – a felon named Pete who was cooperating with the FBI – had asked Smith repeatedly when he was going to write the letter and how he wanted to receive his kickback. …The recordings depicted a frazzled Smith who was trying to win his first election since his appointment to the legislature a year earlier. Many of the conversations played out over the phone while Smith was either headed to or from Springfield. He expressed disappointment and mistrust of other campaign workers and also frustration over Pete’s continued push for the letter of support, even though he hadn’t given Smith the details about the project.

That story has since been rewritten and no longer appears on the website as it is above.

* But here is one excerpt from the re-written piece along those same lines

[FBI Special Agent Bryan Butler] also acknowledged that Pete didn’t always play by the rules. He used up to five different cell phones during the investigation despite the request by agents that he use only one. Pete also met with Smith without telling agents and many conversations went unrecorded, Butler said.

Besides capturing the alleged bribe in progress, the conversations that jurors have heard offer a glimpse into Smith’s campaign. In several calls, Smith expressed disappointment and mistrust of other campaign workers and worried about the correct strategy against his opponent, Tom Swiss, whom Smith described as “white and Republican.”

But by March, Smith seemed optimistic that his campaign had gained traction and he would prevail. But in other calls, he seemed frustrated over Pete’s continued push for the letter of support even though he hadn’t given Smith the details about the project.

“This stuff is serious,” Smith said in another conversation.

Later, Smith was given a draft letter that purportedly was from the day care operator but had actually been written by the FBI. Smith balked at the lack of detail in the draft and sent it back to Pete asking for it to be fleshed out. After a second try, the FBI got it right – Smith’s office sent an email back to the day care saying his signature would be on it soon.

* Zorn’s conclusion

I’m not a lawyer but I do know enough law to realize that the entrapment defense is usually a stretch. Even still, gee, from what I read it looks an awful lot like this informant hassled Smith until Smith yielded to the temptation of some easy “cheddar.”

Look, Smith probably deserves whatever he’s gonna get.

But Zorn does have a point. When is enough enough? Don’t the feds have more important things to do than repeatedly dangle cash in front of somebody over a period of several weeks until he finally takes the bait?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


27 Comments
  1. - Knome Sane - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    Going after Smith isn’t even going after “low hanging fruit”. It’s more like picking fruit off the ground. I am not suggesting that corruption is runnuing rampant in Springfield, but sheesh, even after the Blago fiasco, there has to be more to the situation i Springfield than bringing down that fat cat, Derrick Smith.


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Some feds were looking for an easy score and got one.

    They do that sometimes. It’s good for some careers.

    Changes nothing in terms of good government or public safety.


  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    the nsa has every thing recorded for my safetey were`s it at?


  4. - Walker - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Smith deserves whatever happens, given his lack of sense and ethics.

    The Feds appeared desperate for a case, and hounded the most rookie, pressured, and naïve legislator to get one.

    Hardly a big fish in any barrel.

    There is real corruption among more powerful and moneyed interests. Can’t the Feds have spent their time finding some of that, rather than creating their own with a minor player at best?


  5. - Knome Sane - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    =Some feds were looking for an easy score and got one.=

    Good point. But other than the self-inflicted pain Blago brought on himself, there seems to be a dearth of pink guys getting indicted. JJJ, Beavers, Sanchez, Smith, Ford, etc, etc. Take Blago and his cabal out of the equation, and it’s tough to name the last Caucasian indicted by “the Man”.


  6. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    Tom Swiss is white and he was formerly a Republican ward committeeman. He ran as a Democrat in a bid to upset Smith.


  7. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Maybe Smith was “hounded” but he could’ve told “Pete” to stop and if he didn’t, he could’ve fired him. Not that complicated.


  8. - Walker - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Smith believed a non-profit was struggling and needed a state grant, and also had $7Gs to give him just for a letter?

    The guy wouldn’t even take his cut on the spot? Smith should have thrown the money back at him and walked away.

    Smith trusted this guy enough to complain about other staff with him?

    This con played some con.


  9. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    How long do you keep someone around who is forever telling you to commit a crime? And, say you are a government official?

    Smith is blitheringly stupid.


  10. - Abe the Babe - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    This is how you easily skip a few rungs in the FBI promotion ladder.

    Its press releases for the boss and career fast tracking for you.


  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    ===Smith is blitheringly stupid. ===

    No doubt.


  12. - downstate hack - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    It seems the FBI went overboard. It doesn’t mean Smith isn’t guilty and/or incredibly stupid, but a jury certainly will have to consider an entrapment defense.


  13. - x ace - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    ” When is enough enough ? ” - likely Smith’s Lawyer’s final argument mantra in this trial of the ” FBI and their Paid Overreaching Snitch”.


  14. - Steve - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    Smarter politicians understand that taking a cash bribe could land you in jail. Resisting shouldn’t be difficult if you want to be clean and out of jail.


  15. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    ===Resisting shouldn’t be difficult if you want to be clean and out of jail. ===

    Again, I don’t disagree. But that’s beside the point.


  16. - Steve - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    There’s no doubt that this case opens up the methods the FBI is using. Illinois isn’t the only state the FBI has targeted state legislators. A jury will have to decide if this was entrapment.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/03/26/fbi-conducts-raids-targeting-elected-officials-in-three-states/

    It’s sad to say but past politicians rightly or wrongly have given Illinois a bad reputation which makes Illinois politicians a target for the FBI.

    http://www.uic.edu/depts/pols/ChicagoPolitics/leadingthepack.pdf


  17. - Walker - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    If you,re going to target and create a trap for someone for political corruption, better to target someone with the power to do significant damage.


  18. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    The mole was also a career snitch–since 1994.

    Also, the judge barred Smith from using an entrapment defense.

    http://politics.suntimes.com/article/chicago/smiths-attorneys-attack-mole-bribery-case-against-lawmaker/fri-05302014-324pm


  19. - concern1 - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    $7,000 isn’t even close to $55 million and when do we get to see that trial


  20. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    I pointed out my suspicions regarding this mole when this story first broke.

    The missing tapes and conversations is just too, too much for me.


  21. - x ace - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 6:09 pm:

    Defense doesn’t get formal entrapment defense or instruction , but still got ” Enough is Enough ” concept of dirty pool. Get one juror to steadfastly believe that the persistent conduct of the paid “missing” set up man stinks and Smith avoids conviction.
    Interesting case and can see why it’s being tried.


  22. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 7:08 pm:

    As I’ve watched the last few federal trials of Illinois officials, I have noticed that no, in a whole lot of matters, the jury doesn’t get to decide. They don’t even get to hear the argument about whether they get to decide. The judges appear to very narrowly limit what juries see on a lot of issues the defense wishes to raise, and which by the way I think juries would be symaptheic to.


  23. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:46 pm:

    @Schnorf

    All it takes is one person for a mistrial. The first Blago trial is a good example, since on about half the counts there was 11 to 1. That the FBI admitted to a host of “mistakes” (the agent’s words on the stand) might be all it takes.

    I think what is important to keep in mind here is that the legal system isn’t necessarily designed to get “the ultimate truth.” Alan Dershowitz’s comments to Frontline about the OJ Simpson murder trial are informative on that subject in regards to what we see as members of a jury versus what we see as people who watch trials on television or follow them via the media.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/oj/themes/jury.html


  24. - persecuted - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:48 pm:

    All Smith had to do was say no and politely ask the man not to call or return to Smith’s place of business; he chose not to do either of those things. Temptations occur from cradle to grave.


  25. - A guy... - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Something to consider: the Feds were fishing in a particular pond. No doubt Smith was a minnow, but might turn into bait going further up a particular food chain. Apparently it may not have attracted what or who were the ultimate fish. So, they cut bait and racked up this guy. In my mind, Smith was an entry level to somewhere else and the trail got cold. It’s hard to explain it any other way.


  26. - D.P.Gumby - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    Schnorf–on point. The Feds have demonstrated a disturbing practice of targeting, entrapping and then doing their best to twist the legal system to gain convictions rather than do justice. When the investigations and trials look as unsavory as the defendants it is extremely distressing.


  27. - http://www.dailymotion.com - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 6:26 am:

    Hi there superb website! Does running a blog such as this take a great deal of work?
    I have no expertise in computer programming however I had been hoping
    to start my own blog in the near future. Anyhow, if you have any ideas or tips for new blog owners
    please share. I know this is off subject nevertheless I
    just wanted to ask. Many thanks!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Summers compares Trump to Rauner
* New White House website references "thousands of shootings in Chicago"
* Let's try cashing in on our rich heritage
* And now for a little bit of good news
* Unemployment up, jobs down
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 - Kirk declined to fly with Obama *** Kirk won't stop saying goofy things
* Um... about that "fully funded" boast
* Cullerton, Radogno "playing coy" about tax hike percentage
* "Institute" ginning up opposition to Senate deal
* A SOTS preview?
* IDOT warns of doom for I-55 toll lanes
* Is the end near for legislator pensions?
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

  
* [TA Deals] Master data science and analytics with this bundle for less than $50
* T-Mobile Tuesday for two
* Best cloud storage apps
* New images suggest fourth physical button present on Samsung Galaxy S8
* Three prospective Xiaomi Mi 6 versions detailed by insiders, including dual-edged Premier
* LifeProof Debuts Slimmer NUUD Case for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
* Buzzvil acquires Slidejoy for a lockscreen ad consolidation

* Fans will be able to stream live games in '17
* New Hall of Famers get their close-up
* Williams says Hall not just for 'all-time greats'
* Collins named fourth-best catching prospect in MLB
* Raines gets Hall's call in final year on ballot
* The end of Raines' career was noteworthy, too
* Raines gets Hall's call in final year on ballot

...............


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* Superintendents speak on lead testing - Randolp.....
* Cullerton, Radogno Promise Budget-Package Vote .....
* Our views: Richland layoffs a bad sign for Deca.....
* Illinois film biz hit record $499 million in 2016..
* Gov. Rauner's disingenuous obstinacy and inflex.....
* Illinois Senate leaders promise budget-deal vot.....
* Move over Willis Tower; a taller building could.....
* Move over Willis Tower; a taller building could.....
* Illinois Senate leaders promise budget-deal vot.....


* 4 Rockford residents face fraud charges
* Gurnee police seek 9 charged after Christmas Eve mall fight
* Illinois Senate leaders promise budget-deal vote Wednesday
* Background-checks policy leads UI to withdraw 11 job offers
* Parish nurses in eastern Illinois serve their faith families
* Suburban Chicago officer responding to call dies after crash
* Chicago police: Off-duty Robbins officer fatally shot robber
* EXCHANGE: Jazz performers combine music, spirituality
* Adams County to allow cameras in courtrooms for coverage
* Woman convicted of swindling organ donation organization

* Illinois Senate leaders promise budget-deal vote Wednesday
* Jesse White wants ads on license plate renewal reminders to offset cost
* A new tax on sodas, sugary drinks? It might be part of Illinois budget deal
* Jesse White wants ads on license renewal reminders to offset cost
* Jesse White wants advertisements on license renewal reminders to help offset cost
* New state app aims to help students with career choices
* U of Illinois trustees endorse plan to increase enrollment
* Blagojevich doesn't get early prison release from Obama
* Republicans revive plans to sell Thompson Center in Chicago
* U of I looking to increase enrollment by 15 percent

* What's so hard about assembling a restaurant team? Everything.
* Insurers moving to former Zurich HQ in Schaumburg
* Deceased lawyer was known for stadium deals
* Walgreens faces concerns on plan to get Rite Aid deal OK
* FTC isn't sold on Walgreens' plan to unload 865 stores in Rite Aid deal


* Alderman demands Emanuel relax police hiring standards now
* Sunday Letters: Rep. John Lewis and his message of hope
* Heading to the Women’s March Saturday? Here’s the lowdown
* Garage burglaries reported in Humboldt Park
* Noble disciplined 7 staffers for postcards, then gave one a raise
* Citibank branch robbed in Brookfield
* Armed robberies reported in Austin
* Kingpin ‘El Chapo’ faces US authority; it faces securing him
* White Sox announce SoxFest program
* 18-year-old woman reported missing from Aurora


* Obamas ask for ideas to help shape presidential library in Chicago
* Building to house McDonald's suppliers in West Loop gets Plan Commission OK
* Donald Trump inauguration address compared to Batman villain Bane's speech
* @POTUS Twitter account shifts to Trump
* Trump takes office as 45th president, pledging to empower America's 'forgotten men and women'
* Gambia's defeated leader agrees to cede power: Official
* Betsy DeVos must do her homework
* Murder trial delay request considered: attorney
* Illinois Supreme Court rules Chicago can't tax suburban car rentals
* Nearly 100 arrested as inauguration protesters set fires, vandalize


The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.


* Illinois Senate leaders promise budget-deal vote Wednesday
* Jesse White wants ads on license plate renewal reminders to offset cost
* Our View: Thumbs Up to a finished Route 29 project
* A new tax on sodas, sugary drinks? It might be part of Illinois budget deal
* George Will: The waterbeetle of American politics
* Eugene Robinson: Trump is wrong about black America
* Jesse White wants ads on license renewal reminders to offset cost
* Jesse White wants advertisements on license renewal reminders to help offset cost
* New state app aims to help students with career choices
* U of Illinois trustees endorse plan to increase enrollment


* UPDATE: Suspect in Champaign bank robbery identified
* Getting perspective: Marion High School students take in inauguration
* Central Illinois students, residents take in historic moment
* SIU students stage walkout in protest of Trump's inauguration
* Q-C Food Forest trees vandalized
* Tom's #Mailbag, Jan. 20, 2017
* B-N residents: Inauguration 'unbelievable,' 'emotional'
* B-N residents in D.C.: Inauguration 'unbelievable'
* Illinois Senate leaders promise budget-deal vote Wednesday
* Chicago police: Off-duty officer fatally shot robber


* LaBeouf leads with 'will not divide us' on Inauguration Day
* Injured Silfverberg skips trip with Ducks; Theodore recalled
* Suspect in Palatine teen's murder case get 40 years in prison
* Family: Fallen Bloomingdale police officer always wanted to serve
* Other suburban officers who died in line of duty

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin Attends Trump Inauguration - WLDS-W......
* Senate pushes high-tech visa reform - Wash......

* Kirk won't stop saying goofy things - The ......
* Former Assemblyman testifies at Colonies' ......

* Di Leo: Sergeant York and the Affordable Care Act
* Schakowsky: Trump's hateful rhetoric will now live in White House
* Pension theft. From the west suburban front.
* Donald Trump is really president and I’m not really dead.
* State Capitol Report covers first days of 100th General Assembly
* Hewings, Smoke to present at Business Issues and License Law Forum
* L.L. Bean's stunning return policy
* Lincoln and Reagan's Bibles to be sworn on by Trump and Pence
* Lincoln and Reagan's Bibles to be vowed upon by Trump and Pence
* Gutierrez: Trump will follow most extreme voices in immigration debate


* New Authority Allows DCFS to Strengthen and Preserve Families - Federal waiver grants DCFS flexibility to better care for fostered youth
* Illinois Film Industry Generates $499 Million in 2016 - Chicago named #5 Best Place to Live and Work as a Moviemaker
* Governor Rauner Recognizes Illinois’ Progress In Bringing High Speed Internet to Schools, Students
* Illinois Department of Public Health Reports Six Cases Of Viral Illness Linked To Ratteries - General public at low risk of infection
* 2017 Illinois Tax Filing Season Begins Monday, January 23rd - IDOR fraud efforts resulted in over $20 million in savings in 2016




      Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller