SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Rep. Smith’s lawyer tries to cast doubt on federal case

Friday, May 30, 2014

* Rep. Derrick Smith’s attorney Vic Henderson went after the federal prosecutor’s case during yesterday’s opening arguments

The [FBI] mole was someone who was “down on his luck — he always needed money, always needed a place to stay,” Henderson said. “Because Derrick was a kind-hearted guy, he tried to help out.”

But the mole tricked both Smith and the feds by only recording some of the phone calls and conversations he had with Smith, Henderson alleged.

And Henderson denied Smith had confessed to the FBI, saying Smith had merely admitted he “messed up” by trusting the mole.

Though he acknowledged Smith wrote the letter in support of the grant application, Henderson said “that was his job — he supported anyone who came to him from his district.”

Calling Smith a “baby legislator” who was desperate to hold onto his seat and needed money, he told jurors “there’s a lot you haven’t heard.”

* But the case against Smith appears pretty darned solid

As the 2012 election season loomed, the campaign worker went to the FBI offering to wear a wire and record Smith scheming to receive a bribe, prosecutor Michael Donovan told jurors at the Chicago trial.

In a transcript of one recorded conversation displayed by Donovan on a large courtroom screen, Smith rejects Pete’s suggestion that he accept the money in a traceable cashier’s check.

“OK. Cash?” responds the informant.

“Yeah,” the legislator answers, “I don’t want no trace of it.”

In another recorded conversation, Smith tells Pete he needs plausible deniability, saying, “I don’t let the left hand know what the right hand is doing, man.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Lobo Y Olla - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    Calling Smith a “baby legislator” who was desperate to hold onto his seat and needed money, he told jurors “there’s a lot you haven’t heard.”

    Establishing motive for the Government in your opening statement is risky, risky, risky. Motive is not an element that the Government needs to prove.

    And it looks like I owe LizPhairTax a hearty, “you were right.” Looks like Vic is driving, not Sam.

  2. - A guy... - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    He was a new or junior legislator. Not a baby! One law I know to be in effect is that “babies” are not eligible to run for office. No petition ever had “footprints” as signatures. I think this dude is 50. If you haven’t learned ethics before then, you’re just a corrupt taker. Go Directly to Jail. Don’t collect another dime.

  3. - VanillaMan - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    “I don’t want no trace of it.”

    If you want to pretend Smith is a sweet little, big hearted Madigan duckling, his statement here should put an end to that.

  4. - OneMan - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Rep. Smith’s lawyer tries to cast doubt on federal case

    I suppose that is better than

    Rep. Smith’s lawyer just sits there and says, “I got nothin’”

  5. - Upon Further Review - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    What a load of horse manure! Smith was in a safe Democratic district that reelected him handily even after he was expelled from the House. If he had behaved decently, he could have been a life long incumbent.

    The only threat to Smith’s tenure or longevity was Smith himself.

  6. - wordslinger - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    No defense of Smith, but was this good use of FBI resources? Smith was a nobody, with no influence on anything

    Smith unknowingly had a a long-term, for-pay, FBI snitch on the payroll. The snitch suggests soliciting a bribe and sets up the sting with the FBI.

    Okay. Whatever. You boated the dumbest fish in the pond.

    But it’s certainly not going after systemic corruption, or taking illegal guns off the streets, or shutting down open-air drug markets, or putting any heat on the cartels that have made Chicago their national distribution center.

    You got Derrick Smith. What do you want, a medal?

  7. - Upon Further Review - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 11:01 am:


    You hit the nail on the head. The prosecutors always seem to take out the minnows while the big fish continue to swim about freely.

  8. - Wensicia - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    Smith may be small potatoes, yet Madigan continued to support his run for office after the arrest. You really want the feds to skip these guys and let them remain in office? He’s a criminal, soon to be convicted. They were right to go after him.

  9. - MOON - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 11:14 am:


    Who are these “Big Fish” that you speak of?

  10. - x ace - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    No such thing as a Slam Dunk in a Jury Trial.

    “Jury Nullification” looms.

    If just one juror subscribes to Wordslinger’s astute ” boated the dumbest fish in the pond”
    theory Smith walks.

  11. - low level - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    Yes, Smith is one of the dumbest individuals ever to serve in the IL House.

    How this is relevant to anyone besides Derrick Smith is beyond me.

  12. - Chi - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    There’s gotta be a reason he hasn’t pled guilty here, right? I mean, he doesn’t have a ton of money to waste on a defense, does he? It’s not high-profile enough for him to get any significant discount on the defense, is it? Is he refusing to roll on others? Are there others the Feds care about that would let Derrick Smith in on their schemes? I don’t get why this trial is occurring.

  13. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    ===I don’t get why this trial is occurring.===

    Agree 100%. I’ve been wrong on this from the get-go.

  14. - Chi - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    =“Jury Nullification” looms.=

    Come on. A jury is going to agree he took a bribe but decide taking a bribe should not be illegal and acquit him? Do you mean it’s possible one juror decides he’s not guilty, so they don’t convict or acquit him? And then we waste money on another trial because for some reason this doesn’t case refuses to get pled out?

  15. - Formerpol - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    He is going to be convicted. You heard it here first.

  16. - Rich Miller - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    === You heard it here first. ===


    Really? Today, over a year after his arrest, you’re the first to predict he’s gonna be convicted?

    Such genius!

  17. - x ace - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    Chi - it’s going to trial because that’s his only hope and yes , it only takes one juror to prevent a conviction and cause a hung jury.
    So “Roll the Dice” ain’t a bad option. Remember “OJ”.

  18. - A guy... - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    ==== Formerpol - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    He is going to be convicted. You heard it here first.=====

    You may have heard it “here” first. But not from you.

  19. - Upon Further Review - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 3:30 pm:


    Who is Smith going to roll on? If you want to rat out someone else you have to snitch on someone higher up in the food chain, not someone lower.
    Other legislators have been avoiding Smith like a leper for the past two years or longer, so I doubt he has too much inside information to peddle.

  20. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    “You hit the nail on the head. The prosecutors always seem to take out the minnows while the big fish continue to swim about freely”

    Two Gov’s, a US Senator, Senator’s wife. How big a fish do you want?

  21. - Upon Further Review - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    Two former Governors. Both Blagojevich and Ryan were out of office when they were tried.

    What US Senator and wife are you referring to? My comments were limited to Chicago and Illinois.

  22. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    “What US Senator and wife are you referring to? My comments were limited to Chicago and Illinois.”

    Jesse Jackson Jr, and his wife Sandy. Geez try and keep up will you.

  23. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    Oops my bad. Congressman JJJ

  24. - Upon Further Review - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    Newsflash: Jesse Jackson, Jr. was never a US Senator. He was a do nothing Congressman. His wife was an alderman, but aldermen going to jail is not news.

  25. - Precinct Captain - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    From the Twitter sidebar

    An FBI agent admitted today to embarrassing “mistakes” in the bribery case against state Rep. Derrick Smith.

  26. - Precinct Captain - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==The prosecutors always seem to take out the minnows while the big fish continue to swim about freely.==

    Season one of The Wire. Even the federales only want things that might not pollute their waters (don’t go after who recommended them, etc.). We were lucky with Patrick Fitzgerald.

  27. - x ace - Saturday, May 31, 14 @ 12:18 am:

    Wow - Thanks PC for the Twitter link - Sun Times says:
    Informant paid $25,000 to set up Smith with $ 7,000 bribe that was the paid Convicted Felon Informant’s idea and Cops get Wire Tap Order without disclosing the Informants lengthy Criminal History.
    Sounds like a great start for the defense. (Appears they are going to trial with some ammo)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* In which I agree with the governor
* Stuff you may not know about Illinois pensions
* It's just a bill
* Question of the day
* AG Madigan wants expansion of hate crime law
* Déjà vu all over again
* Rauner defends grand bargain parameters
* "We are proud to call him one of our own"
* Springfield holds its collective breath as strike talk mounts, budget impasse continues
* *** LIVE *** House session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...







* AFSCME authorizes public-employee strike - Du Q.....
* Improve the oversight of workers' comp insurers.....
* Best tactic for some governors is to avoid ment.....
* Doubting Rauner? We understand. Here’s a remind.....
* Strike vote underscores union contract stalemate..
* Editorial: Kennedy’s action no favor to supporters..
* Jesse Jackson Jr.’s workers’ compensation benef.....
* GM, Tech Industry at Loggerheads Over Self-Driv.....
* Push to expand gambling underway in Missouri an.....
* Phil Kadner: County says it has a real plan to .....

* Pulling for success: Class helps build strength, confidence
* EXCHANGE: Water World exhibit opens at Sycamore museum
* Chicago police reports overnight raids ended with 81 arrests
* 2 more men charged in shooting death of toddler in Chicago
* University of Illinois veterans help Danville fire victims
* Second man charged in shooting death of 2-year-old
* Best tactic for some governors is to avoid mention of Trump
* Dems invite immigrants to Trump's first address to Congress
* Former Lake County coroner pleads not guilty to perjury
* Baby born premature dies after mother shot dead in Chicago

* Durbin wants open look at Russian involvement in election
* Trump puts moderate GOP governors in awkward spot
* Economic stakes high for Springfield in labor showdown
* AFSCME authorizes strike, but still wants to bargain with Rauner
* AFSCME members authorize leaders to call strike
* Madigan forms Illinois House panel to address school funding
* Ex-U.S. Rep. Jackson gets about $138,400 in annual benefits
* AFSCME members authorize leaders to call state employee strike
* AFSCME will announce results of strike-authorization vote Thursday
* Hastert victim again argues for remainder of hush money

* Pols emulate Trump's bombastic ways at their peril
* Tollway gets new help in O'Hare access fight
* Boeing to open Its first European plant—in the post-Brexit U.K. ​
* GOP Obamacare plan would cover fewer people; blowback grows
* GOP health plan would cover fewer Americans

* Burglars taking materials from West Side vacant buildings
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Feb. 25, 2017
* Dear Abby: Creepy boy follows around eighth-grade girl
* Editorial: Billionaire pols could use a little farm team training
* 2 in custody after shooting in Brighton Park
* The new-look Bulls roster passed their first test in overtime win
* Trump administration drops support of local transgendered student
* Can Schwarber go from legend of the fall to early riser for Cubs?
* Sneed: Trump’s excoriation of the press is out of bounds
* FBI offers $5,000 for information on missing Streator woman

* Agency plans to award Mexico border wall contracts by April
* Witnesses: Bar gunman shouted 'get out of my country' before shooting 2 Indians at Kansas bar
* Old fashioned: Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler huge in overtime victory over Suns
* Shooting that killed toddler was retaliation against boy's uncle, 3rd man charged: prosecutors
* Challengers cite Ald. King's political advantages, say 4th Ward needs change
* Violence endures at Parkway Gardens, even with a deep-pocketed owner
* Gary pastors pray for growth of congregations
* Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade weigh in on new-look Bulls, direction of team
* Dannie Smith leads No. 16 Orr past Uplift for high-stakes 2A regional title
* Friday's recap: Bulls 128, Suns 121 (OT)

» Rauner Has Plan To Keep Government Running In Case Of Strike
» Congressman Rush Declares His Offices As Sanctuaries
» Weekend Funerals For Young Victims Of Chicago Violence
» CPS Relents, Returns $15 Million to Poorest Chicago Schools
» Doctors Discuss Alternatives To Opioids For Pain
» State Week: Will AFSCME Strike?
» Illinois Lawmakers: NEIU Student Workers Can Only Keep Jobs If State Passes Budget
» Civil Rights Investigation Into Cicero Schools Not Its First
» Indivisible Illinois Activists Concerned About Bobby Rush's Absence From Congress
» Regional Farmers Concerned About Effects Of Immigration Directives

* Durbin wants open look at Russian involvement in election
* Charles Krauthammer: Trump and the ‘Madman Theory’
* Guest Column: Finding beauty in trash
* Trump puts moderate GOP governors in awkward spot
* Economic stakes high for Springfield in labor showdown
* AFSCME authorizes strike, but still wants to bargain with Rauner
* Thumbs Down: To attempt to reinstate Legislative Scholarship program
* Ralph Martire: More ambiguity than Illinois can afford
* George Will: America’s predictable pension crisis
* Eugene Robinson: Obamacare has staying power

* Illinois Lottery
* Local Results for Friday, February 24
* Greenfield’s Walters wins state Three-Point Showdown
* Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense group to host card-making session at Carbondale library
* Hawks edge Cougars for title
* McConnell ready for curtain call
* Time to reinvest in community, Rockford 7th Ward council candidates say
* Belvidere mayor challenged by city treasurer, son of former mayor
* UI Roundup: Illini fight off furious late rally
* My View: Higher ed needs to put students behind the wheel with a degree in computer technology

* Two dead after head-on collision in West Chicago
* St. Charles man accused of heroin possession, dealing
* Man convicted in Algonquin woman's overdose death
* Jeep buried in sand dune for 40 years is finally unearthed
* Waukegan police seek men who robbed Metro PCS

* Hultgren to join veterans' forum at Geneva...
* Hultgren criticizes immigration ban, Roska...
* Majority of IL Congressional Delegation Op...
* Rep. Hultgren stands up for ACA repeal - C...
* US Congressman tours new Aurora Specialty ...
* Group upset with Trump wants Town Hall mee...
* Hultgren guides STEM scholars through pres...
* Protesters converge on US Rep. Randy Hultg...
* GOP congressman appears to distance himsel...
* US Representative Randy Hultgren visits ne...

* Durbin to Trump: Stop Tweeting and Provide......

* Ernst Leads Letter to EPA Expressing Suppo......
* Senator Tammy Duckworth Holds Ribbon Cutti......

* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* Trump makes it just so difficult for anyone of sense to sympathize w/ him
* The women’s marches showed America at its best
* As Trump kicks out reporters, the Washington Post declares war on 'darkness'
* Take the Trump survey and rate the perfidious media
* Mayor Rahm and Alderman Lopez cut a deal on the property-tax rebate
* Brain Damage In Former Players Fuels Soccer 'Heading' Fears
* Bannon, The Best And The Brightest
* Cal City Candidates Called Upon
* Protect America rally adds speakers for Saturday at noon

* Governor Bruce Rauner Honors Carnegie Hero From Buffalo Grove
* Governor Addresses State Board of Education to Emphasize Importance of Strong Accountability Standards
* Stars and Legends to Perform at 2017 Illinois State Fair - First Round of Grandstand Headliners Announced for Springfield Fair
* Earthquake Education Kiosk Unveiled at University Mall in Carbondale - IEMA, Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium project will help southern Illinois residents reduce damage, injuries from earthquakes
* Governor Takes Bill Action

* Google talks RCS and the default messaging situation on Android
* Facebook’s mobile prodigy launches video charades game
* Sign-up page for Samsung Galaxy S8 updates leaks
* Giveaway: Win a Scosche MagicMount Power Bank (USB-C)!
* [TA Deals] Get the Complete Machine Learning Bundle for $39!
* SoFi confirms $500 million in new funding as it pushes beyond lending
* Samsung's Never-Ending Battle With Apple Over 'Slide to Unlock' May be Headed to Supreme Court

* Quintana eager to face USA, teammates in Classic
* Buehrle 'blown away' by having number retired
* Fulmer gets nod to start Cactus League opener
* Frazier rewarded for design work on Glove Day
* Starter for Saturday's spring opener TBD
* White Sox Tilson hopes to return next week
* Improving Anderson a key piece to Sox rebuild

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

February 2017
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


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

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