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Illinois Gov. Arrested in Obama Successor Probe


Don Roberdeau
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http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/illinois_.../09/159903.html

<QUOTE>

Illinois Gov. Arrested in Obama Successor Probe

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 12:42 PM

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on Tuesday on charges that he brazenly conspired to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.

Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field, according to a federal criminal complaint. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper's editorial board who had been critical of him fired.

A 76-page FBI affidavit said the 51-year-old Democratic governor was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps over the last month conspiring to sell or trade the vacant Senate seat for personal benefits for himself and his wife, Patti.

Otherwise, Blagojevich considered appointing himself. The affidavit said that as late as Nov. 3, he told his deputy governor that if "they're not going to offer me anything of value I might as well take it."

"I'm going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain," Blagojevich allegedly said later that day, according to the affidavit, which also quoted him as saying in a remark punctuated by profanity that the seat was "a valuable thing — you just don't give it away for nothing."

The affidavit said Blagojevich also discussed getting a substantial salary for himself at a nonprofit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions.

It said Blagojevich also talked about getting his wife placed on corporate boards where she might get $150,000 a year in director's fees.

He also allegedly discussed getting campaign funds for himself or possibly a post in the president's cabinet or an ambassadorship once he left the governor's office. He noted becoming a U.S. senator might remake his image for a possible presidential run in 2016, according to the affidavit. And he allegedly said a Senate seat would also provide him with corporate contacts if he needed a job and present an opportunity for his wife to work as a lobbyist.

"I want to make money," the affidavit quotes him as saying in one conversation.

The affidavit said Blagojevich expressed frustration at being "stuck" as governor and that he would have access to greater resources if he were indicted while in the U.S. Senate than while sitting as governor.

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said in a statement that "the breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering."

"They allege that Blagojevich put a for sale sign on the naming of a United States senator," Fitzgerald said."

Messages left for Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero and at the governor's press office were not immediately returned Tuesday morning.

Among those being considered for the Senate post include U.S. Reps. Danny Davis and Jesse Jackson Jr.

The affidavit outlined a Nov. 10 call between Blagojevich, his wife, his chief of staff — John Harris, who also was arrested Tuesday — and a group of advisers in which Harris allegedly suggested working out an agreement with the Service Employees International Union.

Under the plan, Blagojevich would appoint a new senator who would be helpful to the president-elect and in turn get a job as head of Change to Win, a group formed by the union. The union would get an unspecified favor from Obama later.

Nothing in the court papers suggested Obama had any part in the discussion. In fact, Blagojevich allegedly said in the same conversation that Obama most likely would not appoint him as secretary of health and human services or to an ambassadorship because of the negative publicity that has surrounded the governor for three years.

One day later, according to the affidavit, Blagojevich allegedly told an associate he knew Obama wanted a specific Senate candidate but "they're not going to give me anything except appreciation." He finished the remark with an expletive.

Blagojevich also was charged with using his authority as governor in an attempt to squeeze out campaign contributions.

Corruption in the Blagojevich administration has been the focus of a federal investigation involving an alleged $7 million scheme aimed at squeezing kickbacks out of companies seeking business from the state. Federal prosecutors have acknowledged they're also investigating "serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud" under Blagojevich, who has a $177,412 salary, though it's unclear whether he accepts the total.

Political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko who raised money for the campaigns of both Blagojevich and Obama is awaiting sentencing after being convicted of fraud and other charges. Blagojevich's chief fundraiser, Christopher G. Kelly, is due to stand trial early next year on charges of obstructing the Internal Revenue Service.

According to Tuesday's complaint, Blagojevich schemed with Rezko, millionaire-fundraiser turned federal witness Stuart Levine and others to get financial benefits for himself and his campaign committee.

Federal prosecutors said Blagojevich and the chairman of his campaign committee have been speeding up corrupt fundraising activities in the last month to get as much money as possible before the end of the year when a new law would curtail his ability to raise contributions from companies with state contracts worth more than $50,000.

According to the affidavit, agents learned Blagojevich was seeking $2.5 million in campaign contributions by the end of the year, with a large part allegedly to come from companies and individuals who have gotten state contracts or appointments.

The affidavit also outlines Blagojevich conversations related to Tribune Co., which has been hoping to sell Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs which the publishing giant also owns.

Blagojevich was quoted in court papers as telling Harris in a profanity laced Nov. 4 conversation that his recommendation to Tribune executives was to fire the editorial writers "and get us some editorial support."

Harris is quoted as telling the governor Nov. 11 that an unnamed Tribune Owner, presumably CEO Sam Zell, "got the message and is very sensitive to the issue."

The affidavit said Harris quoted a Tribune financial adviser as saying cuts were coming at the newspaper and "reading between the lines he's going after that section," apparently meaning editorial writers. Blagojevich is quoted as saying: "Oh, that's fantastic."

"Wow," Blagojevich allegedly replied. "Keep our fingers crossed. You're the man. Good job, John."

Harris allegedly told Blagojevich in his conversation with the financial adviser he had singled out deputy editorial page editor John McCormick as "somebody who was the most biased and unfair."

After hearing that, Blagojevich allegedly stressed to the head of a Chicago sports consulting firm that it was important to provide state aid for a Wrigley Field sale.

Blagojevich took the chief executive's office in 2003 as a reformer promising to clean up former Gov. George Ryan's mess.

Ryan, a Republican, is serving a 6-year prison sentence after being convicted on racketeering and fraud charges. A decade-long investigation began with the sale of driver's licenses for bribes and led to the conviction of dozens of people who worked for Ryan when he was secretary of state and governor.

FBI spokesman Frank Bochte said federal agents arrested the governor and Harris simultaneously at their homes at 6:15 a.m. and took them to the Chicago FBI headquarters.

He did not have any details about Blagojevich's arrest, only that he was cooperative with federal agents.

"It was a very calm setting," he said.

The governor was to appear later Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan to answer the charges. The time was not immediately set.

<END QUOTE>

Best Regards in Research,

Don

Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John," Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, The Truth emerges Clearly

Under the "magic-limbed-ricochet-tree": Z-188, then, Z-203 to 206

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West, Ultrafast, & Directly Towards the "Grassy Knoll"

Dealey Plaza Professionally-surveyed Map Detailing 11-22-63 Victims precise

locations, Witnesses, Photographers, Evidence, Suspected bullet trajectories, Important

information & Considerations

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....Good Day.... FYI............

http://news.aol.com/article/blagojevich-ig...-to-quit/272740

<QUOTE>

Blagojevich Ignores Obama's Call to Quit

By DEANNA BELLANDI and CHRISTOPHER WILLS, AP

CHICAGO (Dec. 10) - His career in shreds, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich clung defiantly to power Wednesday, ignoring a call to step down from President-elect Barack Obama and a warning that Senate Democrats will not let him appoint a new senator from the state.

"Everyone is calling for his head," said Barbara Flynn Currie, a leader in the Illinois Senate and, like the governor, a Democrat.

One day after Blagojevich's arrest, fellow Illinois politicians sought to avoid the taint of scandal-by-association.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. said at a news conference in Washington that he was Senate Candidate 5 in the government's criminal complaint — a man Blagojevich was secretly recorded as saying might be willing to pay money to gain appointment to Obama's vacant Senate seat. Jackson said he had been assured by prosecutors he was not a target of the investigation, and he emphatically said he had not engaged "whatsoever in any wrongdoing."

Other Democrats in Washington edged away from calls for a special election to fill Obama's place in the Senate, hoping that Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn would soon become governor and fill the vacancy on his own. That would assure the party of holding the seat, and on a far faster timetable than any balloting would allow.

Ensconced in his downtown office, Blagojevich gave no sign he was contemplating resigning, and dispatched his spokeswoman, Kelley Quinn, to say it was "business as usual" in his 16th-floor suite, situated a few blocks from Obama's transition headquarters.

"At the end of the day, the top priority for our office is to serve the people, and we have not lost sight of that, nor will we lose sight of that," Kelley Quinn said.

One day earlier, federal prosecutors released a thick document that included excerpts of wiretapped conversations in which the governor allegedly schemed to enrich himself by offering to sell Obama's Senate seat for campaign cash or a lucrative job inside or outside government.

Blagojevich, whose 52nd birthday was Wednesday, is charged with conspiracy and solicitation to commit bribery, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and 10 years, respectively.

More than 24 hours after the arrest, Obama joined other prominent Democrats from his state in calling for Blagojevich's resignation.

"The president-elect agrees with Lt. Gov. Quinn and many others that under the current circumstances it is difficult for the governor to effectively do his job and serve the people of Illinois," Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said in response to questions from The Associated Press.

Asked whether Obama supports a special election, Gibbs said Obama believes the Illinois General Assembly should consider how to fill the Senate seat and "put in place a process to select a new senator that will have the trust and confidence of the people of Illinois."

Top Senate Democrats were more pointed in a letter circulated among the rank and file for signatures.

Blagojevich's resignation, followed by an appointment made by a new governor, would "be the most expeditious way for a new senator to be chosen and seated in a manner that would earn the confidence of the people of Illinois and all Americans," wrote Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and the party's second-ranking leader, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois.

They added that if Blagojevich chose to "ignore the request of the Senate Democratic Caucus and make an appointment we would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority ... to determine whether such a person should be seated."

The Constitution gives the Senate authority to refuse to allow a member to be sworn in.

Top Illinois lawmakers have said they are preparing to call the Legislature into session as early as next week to set a special election to choose Obama's successor. Many officials said Blagojevich should be impeached if he refuses to leave.

<END QUOTE>

Best Regards in Research,

Don

Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John," Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, The Truth emerges Clearly

Under the "magic-limbed-ricochet-tree": Z-188, then, Z-203 to 206

Discovery: ROSEMARY WILLIS's Zapruder Film Documented 2nd Headsnap:

West, Ultrafast, & Directly Towards the "Grassy Knoll"

Dealey Plaza Professionally-surveyed Map Detailing 11-22-63 Victims precise

locations, Witnesses, Photographers, Evidence, Suspected bullet trajectories, Important

information & Considerations

President Kennedy "Men of Courage" Speech, & JFK Assassination

Research & Discoveries, Don Roberdeau, 1975 to Present

T ogether

E veryone

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M ore

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....Good Day.... FYI............

<QUOTE>

Illinois Attorney General Asks Court to Remove Blagojevich From Office

The Illinois attorney general has asked the state's highest court to remove scandal-plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked the state Supreme Court to remove embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office, arguing that the local government is "paralyzed" by his presence.

Madigan filed the motion with the state's highest court Friday, as calls mounted from across the country for the governor to step down. Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on corruption charges and accused of trying to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat.

"I recognize that this is an extraordinary request, but these are extraordinary circumstances," Madigan said at a press conference. "Governor Blagojevich can no longer fulfill his official duties with any legitimacy."

She did not express any objections to the impeachment process that has been discussed by state lawmakers but said action needs to be taken immediately to oust the governor. Madigan wants Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn appointed as acting governor.

"The impeachment process will take time," she said. "In the interim, state government is paralyzed by a governor who is incapable of governing."

The attorney general asked the court for a temporary restraining order or an injunction that prevents Blagojevich from serving as governor. The filing says he is "unable to serve as governor due to disability and should not rightfully continue to hold that office."

"The pervasive nature and severity of these pending charges disable Mr. Blagojevich from making effective decisions on critical, time-sensitive issues," the filing said.

It is the first time in Illinois history that such an action was taken. The attorney general is applying a rule that was intended to cover cases where a governor is incapacitated for health reasons. Her motion indicates that his inability to serve because of the scandal is akin to a debilitating health issue.

The move came as the governor prayed with several ministers in his home before heading to his office, telling them he is innocent and will be vindicated "when you hear each chapter completely written," according to one of the pastors.

<END QUOTE>

Best Regards in Research,

Don

Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John," Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, The Truth emerges Clearly

Under the "magic-limbed-ricochet-tree": Z-188, then, Z-203 to 206

Discovery: ROSEMARY WILLIS's Zapruder Film Documented 2nd Headsnap:

West, Ultrafast, & Directly Towards the "Grassy Knoll"

Dealey Plaza Professionally-surveyed Map Detailing 11-22-63 Victims precise

locations, Witnesses, Photographers, Evidence, Suspected bullet trajectories, Important

information & Considerations

President Kennedy "Men of Courage" Speech, & JFK Assassination

Research & Discoveries Homepage for Your Considerations

T ogether

E veryone

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Don,

You seem obsessed by this story, AFAIK you've never posted on this part of the forum and now you've started 3 topics on it (to which no one replied) which just as well (or better) could have fit into one. I doubt any members are unaware of this it's even in the headlines here.

So why are you so fixated on the story? Are you aware of any solid evidence (as opposed to inference or speculation) Obama was directly involved in the mess?

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Don,

You seem obsessed by this story, AFAIK you've never posted on this part of the forum and now you've started 3 topics on it (to which no one replied) which just as well (or better) could have fit into one. I doubt any members are unaware of this it's even in the headlines here.

So why are you so fixated on the story? Are you aware of any solid evidence (as opposed to inference or speculation) Obama was directly involved in the mess?

I don't think that many people think that "Obama was directly involved in the mess", but it is most certainly a newsworthy event and I am glad that Don has started these threads.

It appears that Rahm Emanuel was one of the persons, referred to in the FBI Affidavit, who communicated with Blago, and Rahm is currently refusing to discuss the matter with the media.

Unless Rahm was assisting the govenment investigation, which could well be the case, this doesn't look good.

Rahm is a very bright guy and he doesn't need ill-gotten gains, so I don't think that he was complicit in doing anything illegal.

But, what he did when or if he learned of any attempted sale of the Senate seat is the issue.

For all we know, Rahm could have gone straight to the FBI when he learned of Blago's illegal actions and helped the FBI make its case.

Or he could have learned about an attempted felony and not gone to law enforcement.

Right now, Rahm is clamming up about the matter.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obam...-121108.article

It will be interesting to learn what, if anything, Rahm did.

I have read that Obama friend, Chicago Democratic fundraiser extraorinaire and convicted felon Tony Rezko is singing like a canary in anticipation of his upcoming sentencing hearing, which I think takes place before the innauguration.

I have also recently read that the FBI is interested in Rezko's sale of a lot (adjoinging the Obama Chicago home) to the Obamas and, specifically, whether he sold it to them at a bargain price.

That is what Obama is most likely concerned about at the present.

Except for the Rezko land purchase and sale, I think that, from what we now know about Obama's relationship with the reputedly tawdry Chicago political machine, he appears to have assiduously avoided most of the sleazy elements of such political dynamic.

As a prominent Chicago Democrat, it would have been impossible for Obama to totally avoid some of the key players (e.g. Rezko and Blago) who are most suspect (Rezko is not suspect anymore, because he has been convicted of one or more felonies) in the local Democratic Party scene (is there another party in Chicago?), but I think that he was fairly careful.

It will also be interesting to see what happens with respect to Jesse Jackson, Jr., who is apparently designated as witness no. 5.

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Don,

You seem obsessed by this story, AFAIK you've never posted on this part of the forum and now you've started 3 topics on it (to which no one replied) which just as well (or better) could have fit into one. I doubt any members are unaware of this it's even in the headlines here.

So why are you so fixated on the story? Are you aware of any solid evidence (as opposed to inference or speculation) Obama was directly involved in the mess?

I don't think that many people think that "Obama was directly involved in the mess", but it is most certainly a newsworthy event and I am glad that Don has started these threads.

My objection was not so much to bring the subject up here as to starting 3 threads about basically a single topic. It seems like his intent was to smear Obama I doubt there was much info in the articles he posted that those interested enough to read them here hadn’t already read elsewhere (including perhaps the very same articles)

I have also recently read that the FBI is interested in Rezko's sale of a lot (adjoinging the Obama Chicago home) to the Obamas and, specifically, whether he sold it to them at a bargain price.

From an article Ron posted on another thread (this why I think it have been better to have only one)

Obama bought a house in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood for $1.65 million. Rezko’s wife, Rita, paid $625,000 for a lot adjacent to Obama’s new home, and the two deals closed on the same day.

* Seven months later, Rezko’s wife sold one-sixth of her lot – a 10-foot strip of a 60-foot lot -- to Obama for $104,500.

So Obama paid Rezko’s wife slightly more than 1/6 the value for 1/6 of the lot. She and the person she sold the remaining lot to both profited (see below) how does that equal “a bargain price”? Also an empty lot selling for about $ 1 million less than an adjoining mansion sounds about right. According to the previous owner of both properties Obama’s offer was the best he received (though it was below his asking price). http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/acroba...03/36768343.pdf

According to Wikipedia though a Sun-Times colunist said - "Rezko definitely did Obama a favor by selling him the 10-foot strip of land, making his own parcel less attractive for development." - Rezko, and an associate of her husband who bought the rest of the lot from her and then resold it both profited handsomely netting them about $ 40 K and a million respectively. You can chase down the cited links if you are so disposed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Rezko#Ties_to_Barack_Obama

“I don't think that many people think that "Obama was directly involved in the mess”

Federal prosecutors said flatly that there is no evidence of involvement by the president-elect in allegations that Blagojevich (D) attempted to sell Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.

[…]

By all accounts, Obama and Blagojevich are not close, though then-Sen. Obama endorsed his fellow Democrat's reelection bid in 2006

[…]

(pg 1)

Nothing in the indictment suggests that Obama ever discussed any deal with Blagojevich. And in some places, Blagojevich is quoted by prosecutors as being frustrated with Obama's transition team.

"Blagojevich said he knows that the President-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat," the indictment states, "but 'they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them.' "

(pg 2)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...ml?hpid=topnews

Throughout his career, Mr. Obama has adroitly straddled the state’s bruising politics, forming alliances with some old-style politicians even as he pressed for ethics reform. But Mr. Obama had long been estranged from the governor, even though some in his political circle have had relationships with both of them, including Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, and Emil Jones Jr., the retiring State Senate president and a longtime mentor.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/09/us/polit...10Illinois.html

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....Good Day.... FYI............

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1229367451...icle-outset-box

blagojevich-rat.jpg

<QUOTE>

Obama Team Delays Releasing Findings

By JONATHAN WEISMAN

President-elect Barack Obama's transition team said it had completed an internal review of contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich -- but wouldn't release its findings until Christmas week, at the request of federal investigators.

The move comes as Mr. Obama tries to keep the news of his home state's disgraced governor from overshadowing his transition, and highlights the challenges of dispensing with the controversy in the face of a live investigation involving Mr. Obama's Senate seat.

OB-CV049_blago__D_20081215142611.jpg

Mr. Obama, in a press conference called to announce his energy and environment team, said the review's conclusions underscore his prior statement that he had no contact with the governor or his staff, and that no one in the Obama camp was involved in inappropriate deal making over a successor for the president-elect's Senate seat.

By delaying the release, Mr. Obama has virtually guaranteed another week of speculation about who in the Obama team discussed what with Blagojevich aides. "I would ask for your patience because I do not want to interfere with an ongoing investigation," Mr. Obama told reporters in Chicago.

In a written statement released by his office late Monday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald confirmed that he asked for the delay, saying he wanted more time to conduct interviews.

"After the President-elect announced an internal transition team investigation, the United States Attorney's Office requested a brief delay of the release of a report of that investigation to conduct certain interviews," Mr. Fitzgerald said.

HC-GM945_Obama_BV_20081105015302.gif

Obama aides said Monday the transition team has tapped Gregory B. Craig, a prominent Washington lawyer and Mr. Obama's choice for White House counsel, to keep the U.S. attorney's office informed about internal deliberations during the transition.

Mr. Fitzgerald and other federal prosecutors often ask those affected by high-profile investigations to hold off on making public disclosures. Mr. Fitzgerald had suggested last week that his office was just beginning to interview people whose names might have come up in the secretly recorded conversations, or were also recorded.

But lawyers knowledgeable about such cases say Mr. Fitzgerald has no authority to compel the president-elect to stay silent on a matter that has clouded his transition and interfered with his policy messages.

"There is absolutely no legal impediment or injunction that Fitzgerald could put on them," said Stanley M. Brand, a Democratic lawyer with experience in such scandals. "They've decided not to talk."

Robert Luskin, a Washington white-collar defense lawyer who knows Mr. Fitzgerald well, said he doesn't doubt the prosecutor would have asked that Obama officials keep quiet until his investigation is further along. That is to prevent witnesses from tailoring their stories to what they learn others are saying. But, he said, Mr. Obama and his aides don't have to comply. They are using the prosecutor as a "fig leaf" to avoid answering questions just now, Mr. Luskin said. They could just as easily have decided that assuring the public about their actions is more important than acceding to the prosecutor's request.

And Christmas week is a good time to bury news, added Robert Bennett, another prominent Washington defense lawyer.

—Susan Schmidt and Cam Simpson contributed to this article.

Write to Jonathan Weisman at jonathan.weisman@wsj.com

____________

More

Complete Coverage: Rod Blagojevich

http://online.wsj.com/public/page/rod-blagojevich.html

<END QUOTE>

Best Regards in Research,

Don

Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John," Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, The Truth emerges Clearly

Under the "magic-limbed-ricochet-tree": Z-188, then, Z-203 to 206

Discovery: ROSEMARY WILLIS's Zapruder Film Documented 2nd Headsnap:

West, Ultrafast, & Directly Towards the "Grassy Knoll"

Dealey Plaza Professionally-surveyed Map Detailing 11-22-63 Victims precise

locations, Witnesses, Photographers, Evidence, Suspected bullet trajectories, Important

information & Considerations

President Kennedy "Men of Courage" Speech, & JFK Assassination

Research & Discoveries Homepage for Your Considerations

T ogether

E veryone

A chieves

M ore

TEAMWORK.gif

National Terror Alert for the United States:

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It seems that you and the WSJ want to put the Obama team in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation. The prosecutor has no legal power to enforce it but asked them not to divulge the contents of the study. If they had you'd inevitably criticize them for putting political consideration before the pursuit of justice.

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....Good Day.... FYI............

http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2008/12/b...-set-to-br.html

<QUOTE>

Blago Set to Break His Silence

December 17, 2008 11:01 AM

ABC News' Matthew Jaffe Reports from Chicago: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will likely hold a press conference toward the end of this week, ABC News has learned.

The embattled governor, arrested last Tuesday, has yet to respond to charges that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

Instead, the reclusive lawmaker has stayed silent, only saying that he looks forward to speaking at the appropriate time.

On Wednesday morning, Blagojevich told reporters outside his Chicago house that he is eagerly anticipating the chance to state his case.

"I can't wait to begin to tell my side of the story and to address you guys and most importantly the people of Illinois, that's who I'm dying to talk to," said the governor.

"There's a time and place for everything. That day will soon be here and you might know more about that today and no later than tomorrow," Blagojevich added.

Although Blagojevich has stayed quiet, his lawyer, high-profile Chicago defense attorney Ed Genson, has stated that the governor is not guilty, not resigning, and instead will fight the charges.

Genson is in the state capital of Springfield Wednesday to meet with a special House investigative committee that will issue a recommendation sometime in the next month on whether or not Blagojevich should be be impeached.

UPDATE: Genson confirmed in a press conference today that Blagojevich was likely to hold a press conference towards the end of this week, but may delay it into next week.

"My client was planning on making a statement this Friday, but I got a feeling I may not be around Chicago this Friday, so maybe it'll be next week," Genson said. "He wants to speak. Now you have to understand this -- he's charged with serious criminal charges. Because someone doesn't want to give an advance notice of what he's gonna say doesn't make the person guilty."

<END QUOTE>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

<QUOTE>

Illinois Court Rejects Bid to Oust Governor

By CHRISTOPHER WILLS, AP

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Dec. 18) - With the Illinois Supreme Court rejecting an effort to oust Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a legislative panel considering impeachment prepared to examine whether he abused his power, despite challenges from the Democrat's lawyer.

Attorney Ed Genson called the impeachment effort "Alice in Wonderland" and discounted federal wiretaps in which Blagojevich is heard talking about selling or trading Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat.

The Illinois House impeachment committee faces even more pressure now that the state's highest court has blocked an attempt to declare the two-term governor unfit to serve because of his legal and political troubles.

The panel planned to hear from its first witnesses Thursday, including state government's top internal watchdog. The chairwoman, Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, said the committee will focus on whether Blagojevich abused his power by defying lawmakers, refusing to release public documents and spending money without authorization.

Genson appeared before the panel Wednesday and challenged it on multiple fronts. He said three members should be removed, the committee's rules should be changed and it should not consider accusations in a criminal complaint against the governor.

Blagojevich has been under siege since his arrest last week on charges that he tried to auction off Obama's seat. But he got some good news Wednesday when the court refused to hear the attorney general's legal challenge to his fitness to serve.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan had argued that Blagojevich's problems amount to a disability, so Blagojevich should have been stripped of his authority temporarily just as if he were physically incapacitated.

The court rejected her challenge without comment. Madigan, a contender for governor in 2010, said she was disappointed by the ruling and urged the impeachment committee to act quickly.

The court's decision renewed calls from Republicans for a special election to choose Obama's successor in the Senate. They argue that neither Blagojevich nor Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn — who would take over if Blagojevich goes — should be allowed to make the appointment.

Genson said he doesn't expect Blagojevich will make an appointment.

"Harry Reid said that they're not going to accept anybody he picks," said Genson, referring to the Senate majority leader. "Why would he do that?"

Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero said he didn't know if Genson was correct about the governor's intentions.

Blagojevich denies any wrongdoing and is defying an avalanche of demands for his resignation. He looked upbeat Wednesday morning, telling reporters before a run that he had confidence in Genson and was eager to defend himself.

"I can't wait to begin to tell my side of the story and to address you guys and, most importantly, the people of Illinois," he said. "That's who I'm dying to talk to."

The Illinois House has appointed a 21-member committee to review the possibility of impeachment. The panel, divided 12-9 between Democrats and Republicans, will recommend whether the full House should move to impeach Blagojevich. If that happened, the state Senate would then decide whether the governor is guilty.

Genson said it would be "frankly illegal" for the committee to base an impeachment recommendation on the corruption case against Blagojevich. The criminal complaint doesn't provide full conversations and context, he said, and it can't be cross-examined like a witness.

The complaint says prosecutors have Blagojevich on tape talking about bartering Obama's seat for personal gain, but Genson told the panel the words do not amount to illegal actions.

He called the wiretaps "two months of somebody who obviously likes to talk a lot, but two months of nothing getting done."

"There's no evidence that anyone ever asked anybody for anything with regard to that (U.S. Senate) seat," Genson added.

Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock, challenged Genson to have Blagojevich testify.

"If we want the facts, we should have your client here. If you want to get to the facts, let's bring him here, let's ask the questions," Franks said.

Genson told the committee that neither the law nor the constitution spell out the standard for impeachment or what evidence should be considered. He also questioned the panel's impartiality.

Genson argued that three lawmakers — Franks and Republicans Bill Black of Danville and Jil Tracy of Mount Sterling — should be removed because their opening statements indicate they've made up their minds.

Lawmakers rejected all of Genson's complaints, saying the committee has broad power to review anything related to the governor's performance. They said Genson's courtroom-style objections won't change the panel's approach.

"He's trying to throw up enough dust ... to make people think the governor is guilty of nothing — pure as the new driven snow," Currie, a Chicago Democrat, said afterward.

Genson also is asking the Illinois House to appoint and pay for Blagojevich's attorneys in the impeachment matter. That normally would be Madigan's job, he said, but she cannot do it because of her challenge to the state Supreme Court. Madigan's office said it would respond soon to Genson's request.

Associated Press writers Jim Suhr and John O'Connor in Springfield and Deanna Bellandi in Chicago contributed to this report.

<END QUOTE>

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Don

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Obama is definitely trying to bury the news during the Christmas week.

I suspect that Rahm Emanuel has his fingerprints on a lot of the Senate seat replacement efforts, although I am confident that he would participate in the sale of the seat.

I think that the Obama team is in panic mode about Rahm's involvement in the process - not because he has done anything illegal, but because he was knee deep in multiple conversations with Blago, who apparently was trying to sell the seat to the highest bidder.

On the other hand, it will be interesting to see the extent to which Jesse Jackson, Jr.was involved in this matter.

I would not be surprised about anything Jesse, Jr. would do.

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Obama is definitely trying to bury the news during the Christmas week.

Chris,

Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the case, has said publicly his office “requested a brief delay of the release” of the the report. Do you think the Bush appointee indicated by the senator Obama defeated at the polls in 2004 is doing him a favor?

From the WSJ article above -

By delaying the release, Mr. Obama has virtually guaranteed another week of speculation about who in the Obama team discussed what with Blagojevich aides. "I would ask for your patience because
I do not want to interfere with an ongoing investigation
," Mr. Obama told reporters in Chicago.

In a written statement released by his office late Monday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald confirmed that he asked for the delay, saying he wanted more time to conduct interviews.

"After the President-elect announced an internal transition team investigation,
the United States Attorney's Office requested a brief delay of the release of a report of that investigation to conduct certain interviews
,"
Mr. Fitzgerald said.

[…]

Mr. Fitzgerald and other federal prosecutors often ask those affected by high-profile investigations to hold off on making public disclosures. Mr. Fitzgerald had suggested last week that his office was just beginning to interview people whose names might have come up in the secretly recorded conversations, or were also recorded.

I would not be surprised about anything Jesse, Jr. would do.

I'm not familiar with JJJ, what makes you feel that way abt him?

Edited by Len Colby
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Obama is definitely trying to bury the news during the Christmas week.

Chris,

Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the case, has said publicly his office “requested a brief delay of the release” of the the report. Do you think the Bush appointee indicated by the senator Obama defeated at the polls in 2004 is doing him a favor?

From the WSJ article above -

By delaying the release, Mr. Obama has virtually guaranteed another week of speculation about who in the Obama team discussed what with Blagojevich aides. "I would ask for your patience because
I do not want to interfere with an ongoing investigation
," Mr. Obama told reporters in Chicago.

In a written statement released by his office late Monday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald confirmed that he asked for the delay, saying he wanted more time to conduct interviews.

"After the President-elect announced an internal transition team investigation,
the United States Attorney's Office requested a brief delay of the release of a report of that investigation to conduct certain interviews
,"
Mr. Fitzgerald said.

[…]

Mr. Fitzgerald and other federal prosecutors often ask those affected by high-profile investigations to hold off on making public disclosures. Mr. Fitzgerald had suggested last week that his office was just beginning to interview people whose names might have come up in the secretly recorded conversations, or were also recorded.

I would not be surprised about anything Jesse, Jr. would do.

I'm not familiar with JJJ, what makes you feel that way abt him?

I said that Obama will try to bury the report during Christmas week, irrespective of how long of a "brief delay" Fitzgerald requested. Let's wait and see what happens. I think that Obama may have a problem with Rahm on this from a public perception standpoint.

Didn't Obama say that no one in his administration had direct contact with Blago about the Senate seat? I thought he did, but maybe I am wrong about what he said to that effect.

And now it appears that Rahm, big surprise, had quite a bit of direct contact with Blago about the seat.

As for Jesse, Jr., let's wait and see what happens with him as well. I made the comment I did because his father's wealth came from shaking down corporations that he was persecuting for alleged race discrimination. His father has always had a loose relationship with honesty and the truth.

How do you think that Jesse's 2 brothers were awarded a much coveted Budweiser distributorship? What was their business background and thier financial capability to secure such a sought after business?

Maybe Jesse, Jr. would still be an Illinois Congressman if his last name was Smith, but I doubt it.

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Obama is definitely trying to bury the news during the Christmas week.

Chris,

Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the case, has said publicly his office “requested a brief delay of the release” of the the report. Do you think the Bush appointee indicated by the senator Obama defeated at the polls in 2004 is doing him a favor?

From the WSJ article above -

By delaying the release, Mr. Obama has virtually guaranteed another week of speculation about who in the Obama team discussed what with Blagojevich aides. "I would ask for your patience because
I do not want to interfere with an ongoing investigation
," Mr. Obama told reporters in Chicago.

In a written statement released by his office late Monday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald confirmed that he asked for the delay, saying he wanted more time to conduct interviews.

"After the President-elect announced an internal transition team investigation,
the United States Attorney's Office requested a brief delay of the release of a report of that investigation to conduct certain interviews
,"
Mr. Fitzgerald said.

[…]

Mr. Fitzgerald and other federal prosecutors often ask those affected by high-profile investigations to hold off on making public disclosures. Mr. Fitzgerald had suggested last week that his office was just beginning to interview people whose names might have come up in the secretly recorded conversations, or were also recorded.

I would not be surprised about anything Jesse, Jr. would do.

I'm not familiar with JJJ, what makes you feel that way abt him?

I said that Obama will try to bury the report during Christmas week, irrespective of how long of a "brief delay" Fitzgerald requested. Let's wait and see what happens. I think that Obama may have a problem with Rahm on this from a public perception standpoint.

At best (worst) you could say that Fitzgerald’s request might be convenient for Obama, but that is premature at this point. We need to see first how embarrassing (if at all) the report is. I doubt Fitzgerald would let Obama use his request as an excuse and would let the world know if the president elect held up releasing the report beyond the time he requested.

Didn't Obama say that no one in his administration had direct contact with Blago about the Senate seat? I thought he did, but maybe I am wrong about what he said to that effect.

And now it appears that Rahm, big surprise, had quite a bit of direct contact with Blago about the seat.

I think he said that as well, then changed to no "inappropriate contact" but I imagine he is rather busy at this and is doing a lot of delegating, it’s possible he was unaware of what Rahm was doing, it’s not even certain Rahm did discuss thing with Blago. Obama isn’t stupid and knowing Blago’s phone (and possibly office) were bugged it would be rather stupid to make such a denial if he knew Rahm talked to governor about it

As for Jesse, Jr., let's wait and see what happens with him as well. I made the comment I did because his father's wealth came from shaking down corporations that he was persecuting for alleged race discrimination. His father has always had a loose relationship with honesty and the truth.

I’m not a huge fan of JJ Sr. I think he’s done good and bad. Do you have evidence to support these accusations? Perhaps if you do you should start a new thread. I see there is book that says this but it comes from the people behind the Swift Boating book about Kerry and the Jerome Corsi book about Obama so I’d say it’s a suspect source to say the least.

How do you think that Jesse's 2 brothers were awarded a much coveted Budweiser distributorship? What was their business background and thier financial capability to secure such a sought after business?

According to a story in the Republican leaning Chicago Tribune (mirrored on a White supremacist website) it's not quite so simple as you make out.

http://www.solargeneral.com/ja/blackcivilr...rshipforSon.htm

Maybe Jesse, Jr. would still be an Illinois Congressman if his last name was Smith, but I doubt it.

He still is. I think you meant he wouldn’t be one if he weren’t Jackson’s son but the same could be said for many politicians including the Bush’s and Kennedy’s, several current, ex and newly elected senators and congressmen etc, etc. A very large percentage of office holders are the children, spouses, etc of past/present office holders or public figures.

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