* Here’s the Tribune’s take…
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been interviewed multiple times by federal investigators looking into allegations that he and key members of his administration offered contracts and state work in exchange for campaign fundraising help, according to documents unsealed Thursday [by Tony Rezko’s judge]. […]
Included in the newly released material was a defense filing answering government allegations leveled by key witnesses against Rezko. Veteran Democratic fundraiser Joseph Cari testified at the trial that on a flight to New York in 2003 with Blagojevich, the governor offered to give Cari his pick of contracts and state business in exchange for assistance in developing a national fundraising operation.
* But that last part is far more important than the story’s lede about how the governor was interviewed by the feds. We already know he was interviewed because he admitted it a couple of years ago. The only discrepancy is that the feds say he was interviewed “multiple times” and the governor’s office claims he was interviewed just twice, two years ago.
Here’s the real meat from the Sun-Times…
Newly unsealed court files in the Tony Rezko corruption case show that… the governor denied [to investigators] having conversations described in court by two key prosecution witnesses.
That raises the possibility that either the witnesses lied under oath or that Blagojevich lied to federal agents about statements he was said to have made, tying state business to support for his campaign.
* That’s a big problem. Here’s why…
[The feds] may well be exploring false-statement allegations against [Blagojevich]. Former Gov. George Ryan is serving a 6½-year sentence, in part because of making false statements to federal agents, which is a felony.
* But here is a point to keep in mind about the documents …
The newly unsealed defense document challenged Cari’s truthfulness, also noting that “Cari failed to recall his conversation with the governor until his fifth interview by government agents.”
* And this is a key revelation that the the judge allowed the feds to keep quite during Tony Rezko’s trial…
[Stu] Levine was the government’s star witness against Rezko, but a newly unsealed defense filing alleges that Levine only agreed to cooperate after realizing that the government had learned that he frequented male prostitutes.
The judge said that fact would simply be too explosive to discuss at trial. It’s out now, though.