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Feds want Audit Commission to “defer”

Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014

* From what I gather, the feds have asked the committee to “defer” to them and to let them take the lead on the investigation into the governor’s anti-violence initiative.

There was a Legislative Audit Commission conference call this afternoon and I’m hearing another one is scheduled. Nothing has yet been decided.

The feds, from what I’m told, haven’t exactly come out and flatly told the Commission to back off. But the signal was certainly clear enough that members are reportedly getting the message

The Justice Department has asked state lawmakers to back away from calling several former members of Gov. Pat Quinn’s inner circle to testify on the governor’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative to avoid possibly interfering with an ongoing federal probe of the scandal-tainted anti-violence program, sources said.

“There is a signal coming from the Department of Justice that the Legislature not proceed with calling witnesses being subpoenaed due to the current criminal investigation,” a source familiar with the feds’ request told the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday.

The verbal request came from the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs and not directly from the federal prosecutor’s office in Springfield, which would neither confirm nor deny the existence of the request.

What makes the request somewhat unusual is that when ongoing state inquiries have skirted too closely to parallel probes by federal investigators, the requests to stand down historically have come from federal prosecutors themselves – not the Justice Department’s lobbying arm.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


27 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    No need to worry for those subpoenaed.

    Good news for them in the short term, very bad news in the long view.

    They ain’t asking for the “defer” just to …you know, ask a couple questions.

    “Bus tickets, get your fresh bus tickets…”


  2. - William j Kelly - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    This might not be the right time to ask but is there anyway we can start the anti violence program back up again? Rahm’s new ‘murder capital’Chicago really isn’t working! Recall Rahm! Find out how: williamjkellyforchicago.com


  3. - Apocolypse Now - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    This not good news for Quinn or the Democrats in general. Will there be a hat trick for Illinois Governor’s going to the big house?


  4. - Rollo Tomasi - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    The big question is will the Feds take any movement on this before the election?


  5. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    Ruh-roh. Time to lawyer up.


  6. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    Rollo-no


  7. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    Sounds like the Federales are protecting one or more of their cooperators, and don’t want to answer the obvious questions that would come up with a direct request. So, let the lobbying arm say “no comment”. No one will keep asking someone who doesn’t know nuthin’. Hmmm. Storm. Brewin’.


  8. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    Not to mention itchy fingered Reps asking questions so close to election time. My guess is they don’t want this crew messing it up. Hopefully the “guests” already lawyered up.


  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    Schnorf, if you’re right, that’s bad news for Quinn. Better to get it in your rearview as quickly as possible.


  10. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    === Sue - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:11 pm:

    Does anyone think Eric Holder or his boss will do anything to hurt Quinn before November. This DOJ puts politics before justice.====

    Ongoing investigation Sue. Better question is: “Does anyone think Eric Holder or his boss will do anything to HELP Quinn before November?”
    I don’t.


  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    –His boss isn’t running again, and to my knowledge he’s not implicated.–

    So AB, to your knowledge, Obama hasn’t been implicated in this investigation? Thanks for the insight. Let us know if you hear something.

    Koo-koo.


  12. - Fed up - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    Better to be the cooperating witness or cooperating subject then paying your own legal fees just to plead guilty later. Ask Blago how that going to trail worked out.


  13. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    I suspect this is good news for Quinn. DoJ will drag things out behind closed doors rather than the pleading the 5th that would have gone on in front of the cameras for the Audit Commission.

    Not that I have a dog in the hunt, but I was looking forward to watching.


  14. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:31 pm:

    Sue, the administration is not as corrupt as you think it is. Take off the tinfoil hat and understand that the justice department takes their jobs very seriously, and if you want to assume that this is political, I’d say with the presidents history, he could very well have directed the justice department to go heavy on this, to try in a futile way as always, to gain some bipartisan cred. He doesn’t seem to understand that no matter what he does, you lot won’t give him any credit and will bite his hand every time he extends it to you.


  15. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    My exact thoughts Word


  16. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:52 pm:

    C’mon, Jimbo. Taking him at his word, the President has shown repeatedly that he seems to be shielded from basic information from within his government — where troops are, etc.

    Holder is the most political Attorney General since John Mitchell, and he makes Obama look like a piker when it comes to politics.


  17. - Sue - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:56 pm:

    Jimbo-this is the same DOJ which is dragging its feet on a number of investigations such as what is happening at the IRS and VA.. Eric Holder is as bad as Gonzales in terms of dragging out investigations which would implicate politicians of their respective parties. Let’s just say Eric Holder is not anything like Patrick Fitz


  18. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:00 pm:

    Geez, who knew this would bring out the Obama crazy.

    Anybody want to give us a for-instance of recent vintage where an attorney general tried to muscle a U.S. district attorney about an ongoing grand jury investigation?

    You know how dangerous that is?


  19. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:07 pm:

    The committee would run into a lot of “on advice of my counsel I decline to answer…” even if they have a hearing.

    When the Feds are serious, tongues freeze up, and heads roll.


  20. - phocion - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:09 pm:

    Back to the topic. This is bad - BAD - for Quinn. There is a cooperating witness. There will be indictments. Schnorf is right that this will not be resolved before election day. Rauner and the newspapers can rightfully have a field day with conjecture, innuendo and speculation. And no one from Quinn’s camp can defend against it. That in turn will depress Quinn’s fundraising abilities.

    A few months ago I would have thought this was Quinn’s election to lose. The needle has kept moving toward Rauner since then. This news makes it deeper and deeper in favor of a Rauner win. Maybe a big one.


  21. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 6:26 pm:

    This helps Quinn in that it means people probably won’t be publicly talking prior to the election, which is good. And if DoJ comes up with nothing, he has headed off a GOP witchhunt. But just the pall hanging over is bad. Rauner has to be careful with attacks though considering all the investigations into his firms.


  22. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 6:40 pm:

    While it may be bad timing for Quinn, the federal investigation didn’t hurt Ryan in 1998 (and the deaths of the Willis children were in play before that election). Time will tell if this hurts Quinn.


  23. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 7:02 pm:

    I suppose every now and then some USA somewhere drags his/her feet for political reasons, but that is conjecture on my part, not researched fact. Much more common is that the feds are very thorough, and that is laborious and time-consuming. I didn’t say they are objective or fair: for the most part I believe they consider all public officials guilty, just not indicted and convicted yet. But they don’t get their 90%+ conviction rate by being haphazard and hasty. These things are not going to be over quickly, regardless of guilt or innocence.


  24. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 9:29 pm:

    If Quinn’s goofballs would have alerted legislative leaders when the subpoena was issued Jason McCarthy Barickman would have never gotten to abuse the audit commission process in the manner he has.


  25. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 9:54 pm:

    AR, in an unusual move, Ryan got something of a public pass from U.S. Attorney Scott Lassar a month before the election.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-10-26/news/0310260112_1_patrick-fitzgerald-sidley-austin-brown-prosecutors


  26. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 10:38 pm:

    Just linked to the Sun-Times. Have they updated with Barickman? There are differences to the story on the site now and the excerpts here on the thread.

    Like this one:

    –Barickman said the verbal request came from two staff attorneys and an intern in the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs in Washington, D.C.,–

    Once the interns get involved, you know the conspiracy to obstruct justice goes right to the top, lol.

    It’s a little-known historical fact that H.R. Haldeman sent the dude who usually got him coffee and Danish to direct CIA director Richard Helms to waive off the FBI on the Watergate break-in as it would open up the whole Bag of Pigs.


  27. - The Prince - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 8:32 am:

    Unusual coming from the source it did, but has same effect: Quinn is helped greatly.


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