Monthly Archives: April 2010

Blagojevich trial, Redacted motion segments, Obama and Rezko, Obama subpoena, Blagojevich Rezko Levine Obama corruption ties

Blagojevich trial, Redacted motion segments, Obama and Rezko

Yesterday we learned of the Blagojevich defense team filing a motion to subpoena Barack Obama for the Rod Blagojevich trial. Later in the day we discovered that redacted segments of the motion had been made available. There is some interesting material that was redacted. The part that caught my eye was references to Obama andRezko discussions that Obama has denied.

22. However, the defense has a good faith belief that Mr. Rezko, President Obama’s former friend, fund-raiser, and neighbor told the FBI and the United States Attorneys

Redacted:

a different story about President Obama. In a recent in camera proceeding, the government tendered a three paragraph letter indicating that Rezko “has stated
in interviews with the government that he engaged in election law violations by personally contributing a large sum of cash to the campaign of a public official who is not Rod Blagojevich. … Further, the public official denies being aware of cash contributions to his campaign by Rezko or others and denies having conversations with Rezko related to cash contributions. … Rezko has also stated in interviews with the government that he believed he transmitted a quid pro quo offer from a lobbyist to the public official, whereby the lobbyist would hold a fundraiser for the official in exchange for favorable official action, but that the public official rejected the offer. The public official denies any such conversation. In addition, Rezko has stated to the government that he and the public official had certain conversations about gaming legislation and administration, which the public official denies having had.”10

10 The defense has a good faith belief that this public official is Barack Obama.

“No, I have never been asked to do anything to advance his business interest. In 1999, when I was a State Senator, I opposed legislation to bring a
casino to Rosemont and allow casino gambling at docked riverboats which news reports said Al Johnson and Tony Rezko were interested in being part of. I never discussed a casino license with either of them. I was a vocal opponent of the legislation.”

Obama’s involvement with Tony Rezko and this legislation coincides with the three paragraph summary the government has provided to the defense referenced above.

Read more

From the Tony Rezko trial in 2008.

April 15, 2008

“Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama’s name came up again at the Antoin “Tony” Rezko corruption trial Monday.”

“Here’s the back story. Rezko, of course, was a longtime political fundraiser for both Obama and Blagojevich, though the corruption charges Rezko is now facing involve his role as an influential adviser to the governor. Prosecution star witness Stuart Levine testified that he attended a party in Rezko’s Wilmette house in April 2004 for Nadhmi Auchi, a controversial British billionaire.

Rezko was trolling for investment capital for a South Loop development, and the party was part of his campaign to get Auchi to invest. Levine said guests at the party included Obama and his wife.”

The trial transcripts can be viewed here:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-rezko-court-story-7,0,5224754.htmlstory

From the Blagojevich trial proffer recently released by judge James Zagel.

Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board Kickback
The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board (the “Planning Board”) is a commission of the
State of Illinois, established by statute, whose members are appointed by the Governor of the State
of Illinois. During the relevant time period, the Planning Board consisted of nine individuals. State
law required an entity seeking to build a hospital, medical office building, or other medical facility
in Illinois to obtain a permit, known as a “Certificate of Need” (“CON”), from the Planning Board
prior to beginning construction.
Rezko was able to obtain significant influence over the affairs of the Planning Board by
arranging for Blagojevich to appoint five of Rezko’s associates and/or friends, including Levine, as
members of the Planning Board in 2003. Rezko and Levine subsequently agreed to use their
influence over the Planning Board to obtain a kickback of at least $1 million from a contractor,
Jacob Kiferbaum, who wanted the Planning Board to award Mercy Hospital a CON to build a new
hospital. Rezko and Levine were able to arrange for Mercy Hospital to receive its CON at the April
2004 Planning Board meeting, but their scheme was interrupted by the FBI before any kickback was
paid

Control over the Planning Board
Levine was on the Planning Board when Blagojevich became governor, but his term was due
to expire in 2003. Levine sent a message to the Blagojevich administration through Cellini that he
wanted to be re-appointed. Levine later heard from both Kelly and Cellini that he would be reappointed,
and Levine was re-appointed to the Planning Board in the Fall of 2003.
After Levine was reappointed, he shared a private plane ride from New York to Chicago with
Blagojevich and Kelly. Levine, Blagojevich, and Kelly were the only passengers on the flight. At
the beginning of the flight, Levine thanked Blagojevich for reappointing him to the Planning Board.
Blagojevich responded (in Kelly’s presence) that Levine should only talk with “Tony” [Rezko] or
“Chris” [Kelly] about the board, “but you stick with us and you will do very well for yourself.”
Levine understood from Blagojevich’s manner of speaking and words that Blagojevich did not want
Levine to talk to Blagojevich directly about anything to do with the boards, but that Levine should
talk to Rezko or Kelly. Levine also understood that Blagojevich meant that Levine could make a
lot of money working with Blagojevich’s administration. Blagojevich did not seem to expect a
response from Levine, and Kelly then shifted the conversation to something else.
Around the time that Levine was reappointed, Rezko told Levine that he expected to control
the Planning Board. Rezko said that he had discussed the makeup of the Planning Board with
Thomas Beck, who was the Chairman of the Planning Board. Before one of the Planning Board
meetings, Beck talked to Levine about how there were five members of the Planning Board who
were Rezko’s people, including Levine and Beck. The other three individuals who would vote as
Rezko wished were Fortune Massuda, Imad Almanaseer, and Michel Malek. Documents and
testimony from individuals in Illinois state government who helped select candidates for boards and
commissions positions, including the Planning Board, confirm that Rezko was the individual
responsible for selecting those five individuals to be appointed to the Planning Board. Since it took
five votes to approve any CON, Rezko’s people effectively controlled what the Planning Board did.
Beck typically indicated to Levine and the other three members of Rezko’s voting bloc the items on
the Planning Board agenda that Rezko cared about and how Rezko wanted them to vote.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/acrobat/2010-04/53290204.pdf

How is Obama tied to this scheme?

From the Rezko trial.

March 6, 2008

Duffy mentions Levine’s close political ties to the late Mayor Harold Washington, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill), former Gov. Jim Edgar and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago) as examples of how connected Levine was.”

March 10, 2008

“Ziegelmueller asked Hayden about a 2003 e-mail exchange with Lichtenstein, then the governor’s top lawyer, in which Wilhelm made recommendations for the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.
The name of Barack Obama, the Democratic front-runner for the presidential nomination, also appears in the e-mail as a member of a strategic team reviewing hospital board matters with the governor’s staff when he was a state senator. The hospital board was scheduled to be revamped in the summer of 2003.

Obama was then chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services. Other legislative leaders, including Madigan, were part of that review panel as well, according to the e-mail.”

March 12, 2008

“Fast forward to July 15, 2003, when Gov. Rod Blagojevich was revamping the hospital board on which Beck held a seat for several years. Beck said he wanted to stay on the panel so he called on Rezko at his North Side office. He came armed with a $1,000 check for Blagojevich’s campaign fund. Beck said he asked Rezko to put in a good word for him and Rezko said he would see what he could do.

A few weeks later, Beck said Rezko called him with the good news that he would be reappointed to the board along with Stuart Levine and another holdover member. Rezko also said three doctor friends of his were going to be put on the revamped panel by Blagojevich, Beck testified.”
“Key to the government case are dozens of recorded wiretap conversations on three phone lines into the home of Stuart Levine, the former member of two state boards whom prosecutors say worked with Antoin “Tony” Rezko to rig decisions of those panels.

FBI Special Agent Daniel Cain, the primary case agent on the investigation into Levine and Rezko, is on the stand now in testimony that is laying the foundation for entering the wiretaps into evidence.

Cain said the investigation, dubbed Operation Board Games by the federal agents, began in December 2003 and was prompted by information gleaned from an informant whom he did not identify. That witness, he said, took part in meetings with two other individuals who were in contact with Levine by phone at his home.

Cain said Levine had three phone lines in his North Shore home. Federal agents recorded conversations on those lines April 8-May 21, 2004. Those dates span the time when Levine, Rezko and others allegedly were working to rig the hospital board vote on a Mercy Health System hospital proposal for Crystal Lake and other kickback schemes prosecutors claim they were engaged in.”

Just as Rod Blagojevich’s involvement in Chicago, IL corruption was revealed during the Tony Rezko trial, Obama’s involvement should be revealed in the Blagojevich trial.

Reported here (and much earlier), April 1, 2010.

“In the media, Obama always made it sound like he rarely saw Rezko, saying they met for breakfast or lunch once or twice a year. However, the FBI mole John Thomas helped investigators “build a record of repeat visits to the old offices of Rezko and former business partner Daniel Mahru’s Rezmar Corp., at 853 N. Elston, by Blagojevich and Obama during 2004 and 2005,“ according to the February 10, 2008 Sun-Times.

During his March 14, 2008 interview, the Times told Obama, Thomas is an FBI mole and he “recently told us that he saw you coming and going from Rezko’s office a lot.”

“And three other sources told us that you and Rezko spoke on the phone daily.””

“The rigging of the IL Health Planning Facilities Board is a major charge in the indictments of Rod Blagojevich, Tony Rezko, Stuart Levine, Robert Weinstein and others tied to Barack Obama.”

“In or about the spring of 2004, REZKO and LEVINE agreed that LEVINE, whose term on the TRS Board was due to expire in May 2004, needed to be reappointed to the TRS Board and that additional TRS Board members needed to be appointed who would cooperate with REZKO and LEVINE.”

“Obama was chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee in January 2003.”
“A review of senate records from January 2003 to August 2003, shows Obama played a major role as chairman of that committee, in pushing through Senate Bill 1332, that led to the “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, making the votes much easier to rig.”
“The bill was filed with the senate secretary on February 20, 2003, and assigned to Human Services Committee for review on February 27. Less than a month later, as chairman, Obama sent word that the bill should be passed on March 13, 2003.”
“On May 31, 2003, the House and Senate passed the bill and the only senator listed in the “yes” votes mentioned in the Board Games indictments is Obama.
Blagojevich made the effective date June 27, 2003, and the co-schemers already had the people lined up to stack the Board and rig the votes with full approval from Obama.”

“So far, Blagojevich, reelected in 2006, is more deeply enmeshed in the scandal than Obama, who’s not been implicated in any wrongdoing.

But all three operated in the murky world of Illinois Democratic politics, where money, family relationships and long business associations provide the invisible glue of the local political world.”
“Using Federal Election Commission and Illinois state records, The Times’ Dan Morain compared donors on the FBI spreadsheet to Obama’s contributors. Guess what.

Sen. Obama received $222,000 during the same 2001-2004 period from Rezko-related Blagojevich donors.”

“At the relevant time period, the Planning Board consisted of nine individuals.”

Read more

Reported here  November 2, 2009.

“Ata made a $5,000 donation to Obama less than a month earlier on June 30, 2003. Ata is also an investor in Riverside Park. Almost without fail, the people identified in the Board Games cases as investors in Riverside Park contributed to Obama’s US senate campaign.”

Read more

Reported here  December 11, 2008.

“In addition, the contributions extorted through the Planning Board scheme were for the intended presidential candidate, Blagojevich. Obama’s US senate war chest was already funded and by the time these kickbacks were paid that campaign would be over.

But Obama did end up with $20,000 from the very first kickback paid in the pension fund scheme set up through the Board of the Teacher’s Retirement System.

Elie Maloof and Joseph Aramanda, the straw donors used to funnel the contributions to Obama, also made $1,000 contributions of their own for his failed run for Congress in 2000, on the same day March 17, 2000.

In addition, Aramanda gave $500 to Obama’s senate campaign on June 30, 2003. In the summer of 2005, Aramanda’s teenage son landed a coveted intern position in Obama’s senate office in Washington.

Obama also received contributions directly from the persons appointed to the pension board for the express purpose of rigging the votes. On June 30, 2003, appointee, Jack Carriglio contributed $1,000.

The other appointee, Anthony Abboud, donated $500 to Obama on June 30, 2003, $250 on March 5, 2004, and $1,000 on June 25, 2004.

Michael Winter, who prosecutors say agreed to serve as a funnel for kickbacks paid through an investment firm in one scheme donated $3,000 to Obama on June 30, 2003.”

Read more

Will the mainstream media, including Fox News, cover the real corruption in Chicago and Illinois that Blagojevich and Obama were enmeshed in? Spread the word via your friends and email contacts. Demand that Fox and anyone who will listen report the facts.

Blagojevich Motion to Subpoena Barack Obama, Redacted sections, Rod Blagojevich trial, April 22, 2010, Chicago Tribune

Blagojevich Motion to Subpoena Barack Obama, Redacted sections

 

The Chicago Tribune has the redacted scetions of the Blagojevich Motion to Subpoena Barack Obama on their site. Here are the redactions,

9. Yet, despite President Obama stating that no representatives of his had any part of any deals, labor union president told the FBI and the United States Attorneys 

that he
spoke to labor union official on November 3, 2008 who received a phone message
from Obama that evening. After labor union official listened to the message
labor union official told labor union president “I’m the one”. Labor union
president took that to mean that labor union official was to be the one to deliver
the message on behalf of Obama that Senate Candidate B was his pick. (Labor
union president 302, February 2, 2009, p. 7).

10. Labor union official told the FBI and the United States Attorneys“Obama expressed
his belief that [Senate Candidate B] would be a good Senator for the people of
Illinois and would be a candidate who could win re-election. [Labor union
official] advised Obama that [labor union official] would reach out to Governor
Blagojevich and advocate for [Senate Candidate B].. . . [Labor union official]
called [labor union president] and told [labor union president] that Obama was
aware that [labor union official] would be reaching out to Blagojevich.” (Labor
union official 302, February 3, 2009 p. 3).

11. According to Senate Candidate B

,

on November, 4 2008, Senate Candidate B
spoke with labor union official about the Senate seat. Labor union official said
he spoke to Obama. Labor union official said he was going to meet with
Blagojevich and said “he was going to push Blagojevich hard on this. According
to Senate Candidate B, labor union official’s language could have been stronger
than the language that she was reporting to the government.” (Senate Candidate
B 302, December 19, 2008).

12. On November 5, 2008, Blagojevich told John Harris that labor union official

“talked
to Barack Obama, wants to come and see me.” Blagojevich then told Harris that
labor union official “was very explicit with me, “I talked to Barack about the
Senate seat. Can I come and see ya? Can I do it tomorrow?’ I said, sure.”
(Blagojevich Home Phone Call # 261).
 

13. A supporter of Presidential Candidate Obama

suggested that she talk to the wife of
Governor Blagojevich about Senate Candidate B for Senator. (Valerie Jarrett
302, December 19, 2008). Supporter of Presidential Candidate Obama is
mentioned in a phone call on November 3, 2008, having offered “fundraising” in
exchange for Senate Candidate B for senator (Blagojevich Home Phone Call #
149).

17. President-elect Obama also

spoke to Governor Blagojevich on December 1, 2008
in Philadelphia. On Harris Cell Phone Call # 139, John Harris and Governor’s
legal counsel discuss a conversation Blagojevich had with President-elect
Obama. The government claims a conspiracy existed from October 22, 2008 continuing through December 9, 2008.6 That conversation is relevant to the defense of the government’s theory of an ongoing conspiracy. Only Rod Blagojevich and President Obama can testify to the contents of that conversation. The defense is allowed to present evidence that corroborates the defendant’s testimony.7
Obama.

18. President-elect Obama

also suggested Senate Candidate A to Governor Blagojevich.
John Harris told the FBI and the United States Attorneys that he spoke to
President’s Chief of Staff on November 12, 2008. Harris took notes of the
conversation and wrote that President’s Chief had previously worked as
Blagojevich’s press secretary. Obama agreed of Staff told Harris that Senate
Candidate A was acceptable to Obama as a senate pick. (Harris handwritten
notes, OOG1004463) President’s Chief of Staff told the FBI that “he could not
say where but somewhere it was communicated to him that” Senate Candidate A
was a suggested candidate viewed as one of the four “right” candidates “by the
Obama transition team.” (Rahm Emanuel 302, p. 5, December 20, 2008). Harris
told Blagojevich Obama’s suggestion on November 12, 2008 (Blagojevich Home
Phone Call # 539).

19. President-elect Obama

was also involved in other senate candidate choices. On
December 8, 2008, John Harris’ secretary’s call log noted President’s Chief of
Staff called at 10:47 am and wrote “needs to talk to you asap” (Harris 302,
February 20, 2009). President’s Chief of Staff told the FBI that he had a
conversation discussing the Senate seat with Obama on December 7, 2008 in
Obama’s car. President’s Chief of Staff told the FBI “Obama expressed concern
about Senate Candidate D being appointed as Senator. [President’s Chief of
Staff] suggested they might need an expanded list to possibly include names of
African Americans that came out of the business world. [President’s Chief of
Staff] thought he suggested Senate Candidate E who was the head of the Urban
League and with President’s Chief of Staff’s suggestion.” (President’s Chief of Staff, 302, 12-20-08).

22. However, the defense has a good faith belief that Mr. Rezko, President Obama’s former friend, fund-raiser, and neighbor told the FBI and the United States Attorneys

a different story about President Obama. In a recent in camera proceeding, the
government tendered a three paragraph letter indicating that Rezko “has stated
in interviews with the government that he engaged in election law violations by
personally contributing a large sum of cash to the campaign of a public official
who is not Rod Blagojevich. … Further, the public official denies being aware of
cash contributions to his campaign by Rezko or others and denies having
conversations with Rezko related to cash contributions. … Rezko has also stated
in interviews with the government that he believed he transmitted a quid pro quo
offer from a lobbyist to the public official, whereby the lobbyist would hold a
fundraiser for the official in exchange for favorable official action, but that the
public official rejected the offer. The public official denies any such conversation. In addition, Rezko has stated to the government that he and the public official had certain conversations about gaming legislation and administration, which the public official denies having had.”10

23. President Obama is the only one who can testify as to the veracity

 of Mr. Rezko’s allegations above.

10 The defense has a good faith belief that this public official is Barack Obama.

“No, I have never been asked to do
anything to advance his business interest. In 1999, when I was a State Senator, I opposed legislation to bring a
casino to Rosemont and allow casino gambling at docked riverboats which news reports said Al Johnson and Tony
Rezko were interested in being part of. I never discussed a casino license with either of them. I was a vocal
opponent of the legislation.”

Obama’s involvement with Tony Rezko and this legislation coincides with the
three paragraph summary the government has provided to the defense referenced above.
 

The redacted sections were found here:

http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/docs/obama-subpoena.html#document/p3/a11

A good faith effort was made to present the redacted sections. Any errors found will be corrected as noted.

Blagojevich trial, Obama subpoena, April 22, 2010, Blagojevich lawyers request permission to subpoena Obama, Obama has direct knowledge to allegations made in the indictment

Blagojevich trial, Obama subpoena, April 22, 2010

***  Update below ***

From WGN Chicago Breaking News Center.

“Blago defense seeks permission to subpoena Obama”

“Lawyers for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich today asked a federal judge for permission to subpoena President Barack Obama to testify at Blagojevich’s upcoming trial.

Blagojevich is charged with using his office to enrich himself and close associates, including allegations he tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat that Obama vacated in 2008 with his election to the White House.

Blagojevich’s lawyers have previously suggested they might try to question the president.

“President Obama has direct knowledge to allegations made in the indictment,” the defense said in its filing. “In addition, President Obama’s public statements contradict other witness statements.”

The defense said it still  has not received notes from FBI interviews of Obama even though it first sought that material  in December.

Blagojevich’s lawyers contend that some of Obama’s public remarks that no representatives of his had any stake in any alleged deals Blagojevich had over the senate seat has been contradicted by some witnesses in interviews with the FBI and federal prosecutors. That allegedly contradictory information has been blacked out of the new filing, though the defense asked in a footnote that the entire filing be unsealed.”

Read more:
Thanks to commenter JJ.
***  Update 6:00 PM ET  ***
View the motion:

Blagojevich trial, Update, April 22, 2010, Judge James Zagel criticizes Blagojevich, Zagel unhappy with defense team, The only person who can admit evidence is me

Blagojevich trial, Update, April 22, 2010, Judge James Zagel criticizes Blagojevich

From The Christian Science Monitor

“Judge in Rod Blagojevich case takes the former governor to task”

“Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tried to use a hearing in federal court Wednesday to confront his nemesis in his pending June trial: US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
Mr. Blagojevich had angrily described the federal prosecutor as a “liar” late Tuesday, challenging him through local television cameras to “be man enough to be in court” the next day.

Mr. Fitzgerald did not show. But US District Judge James Zagel told Blagojevich and his lawyers that he was unhappy with the combative nature of the defense. His courtroom would not “permit the legal equivalent of head butts,” he said.

“Those rules are enforced by the referee, not by the boxers. I am that referee – no one else,” Judge Zagel said.”

“Zagel criticized the former governor for repeated remarks in the media about prosecutors suppressing wiretaps that Blagojevich says, if aired, would reveal a “smoking gun” pointing at his innocence.”

“Zagel made it clear that it wasn’t up to the prosecution team regarding what would be allowed in the trial. Rather, the admittance of all evidence is under Zagel’s domain. “The only person who can admit evidence is me,” he said.

He gave Blagojevich’s legal team until May 14 to provide a list of all the tapes it wants played at the trial. But he warned that he would monitor whether the requested tapes were relevant to the case so that jurors aren’t “needlessly consumed” by evidence that has no bearing on the trial.”

Read more:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2010/0421/Judge-in-Rod-Blagojevich-case-takes-the-former-governor-to-task

Gordon Liddy interviews Lt. Col Terry Lakin, Lakin attorney, Court martial, Obama birth certificate, Obama not eligible

Gordon Liddy interviews Lt. Col Terry Lakin, Lakin attorney

Recently, Gordon Liddy interviewed Lt. Col Terry Lakin and  Lakin’s attorney regarding Lakin challenging Obama’s eligibility and failure to provide a legitimate birth certificate. Lt. Col Terry Lakin is facing a court martial. Here are some exerpts from the interview. At the end of the video, Nashville attorney Leo Haffey calls in to express his support and admiration for Lakin. Haffey was incarcerated in Nashville as a political prisoner for speaking out against Obama.

My hat goes off to Lt. Col Lakin and to E. Gordon Liddy for their integrity, courage and patriotism.

Blagojevich trial, April 21, 2010, Rod Blagojevich history of corruption, Blagojevich rants and deception, Rezko Levine Obama

Blagojevich trial, April 21, 2010, Rod Blagojevich history of corruption

Lest we forget.

Rod Blagojevich, steeped in many years of corruption and crime with the likes of Tony Rezko, Stuart Levine, Barack Obama and many others, would have you believe, with the assistance of the MSM, that he is only caught up in the controversy surrounding the selling of Obama’s seat and that he is not guilty.

From the Chicago Tribune, April 21, 2010.
“Blagojevich calls federal prosecutors ‘cowards and liars’ in angry rant”
 

“Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich described the federal prosecutors who have brought racketeering and fraud charges against him as “cowards and liars” Tuesday and challenged Chicago’s U.S. attorney to meet him face to face in court if he is “man enough.”

In an extraordinary outburst timed to go live on evening news shows, Blagojevich said prosecutors had treated his wife unfairly and were now “sneaking into court” in an effort to prevent jurors from hearing all of the tapes the FBI made of his telephone conversations.

“They are cowards and they are liars,” Blagojevich said, raising his voice to a full throated shout as he stood before a battery of cameras in front of his lawyer’s South Side office.

“They know when all those tapes will be played they will show I’ve done nothing wrong and will prove my innocence,” the impeached former governor said. He and his attorneys left without taking questions.

Addressing U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald through the cameras, Blagojevich said: “I’ll be in court tomorrow and I hope you are man enough to be there, too.”

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, Randall Samborn, had no comment on Blagojevich’s remarks.

U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday to discuss motions being filed as preparations for the trial go into their final six weeks.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-ap-us-blagojevich-corruption-case,0,2581741.story

Nine months before Rod Blagojevich was arrested.

From the Chicago Tribune, March 7, 2008.

“Blagojevich’s name surfaces early in case”

“Prosecutors wasted little time Thursday dragging Gov. Rod Blagojevich front and center in the corruption trial of his friend and fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

With an overflow crowd on hand for the politically charged trial, the first government witnesses painted a portrait of Rezko as someone with extraordinary access to the governor and his administration, attending strategy sessions and sitting in on job interviews for key positions.

Testimony from an FBI analyst pointed to a reason behind Rezko’s influence: money. Special Agent Charles Willenborg said that internal Blagojevich campaign documents credited Rezko with raising more than $1.4 million for the governor between June 2001 and August 2004.

That is nearly three times what Rezko has publicly acknowledged raising for Blagojevich. In a 2005 interview with the Tribune, he put the number at about $500,000.

The Rezko case is fraught with political peril not only for Blagojevich but also for Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama, another friend of Rezko. Obama has little connection to the criminal case against Rezko. But the link between the two has fanned national interest in a trial that already was receiving outsized attention in Chicago.”

“Levine was a member of two state panels at the heart of the government’s case, reappointed to both in 2003 by Blagojevich after input from Rezko. One board was responsible for investing $30 billion in teacher pension assets; the other had the power to approve hospital expansion projects throughout the state.”

“Rezko has raised money for many politicians , Duffy said, among them former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, former Gov. Jim Edgar and Obama.

That was the only reference Thursday to the senator, whose presidential campaign has been hounded by questions about his ties to Rezko. Prosecutors say at least $20,000 of teacher pension fund money allegedly looted by Rezko found its way through a middleman into Obama’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign.”

“Susan Lichtenstein, once the Blagojevich administration’s top lawyer, testified that Rezko enjoyed unusual influence for someone with no official state position. Lichtenstein said Rezko was present when she interviewed with Blagojevich about her job.

And, she said, Rezko was on hand at several strategy retreats where key Blagojevich aides and the governor hashed out administration strategy.”

“Many large contributions to the governor came from donors already linked to the case against Rezko, including two appointees to the state hospital board. Each gave Blagojevich $25,000 shortly after their appointments.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-tony-rezko-trial-07mar07,0,77138.story

Blagojevich trial, Update, April 20, 2010, Christopher Kelly suicide, Prosecution seeks to limit defense arguments, Robert Blagojevich

Blagojevich trial, Update, April 20, 2010

From the Chicago Tribune, April 19, 2010
“Feds say Blagojevich lawyers should not tell jury about chief fundraiser’s suicide”

“Prosecutors in Chicago are urging a federal judge to bar former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers from telling the jury at his corruption trial about his chief fundraiser’s suicide.

In court papers Monday, prosecutors say Blagojevich and his attorneys have made remarks suggesting they might bring up fundraiser Christopher Kelly’s suicide at the trial.

The south suburban contractor headed Blagojevich’s campaign committee and was found dead of an apparent overdose last September. He had been a defendant in three different corruption cases and was set to enter prison within days.”

Read more:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sns-ap-il–blagojevich-corruptioncase,0,2396658.story
“Prosecution seeks to limit defense arguments in upcoming Blagojevich trial”

“But the government maintains it is simply trying to keep issues irrelevant to the criminal charges from jurors.

On that same note, prosecutors said the defense shouldn’t be allowed to raise Blagojevich’s impeachment or any positive actions he took as governor.

Blagojevich has long called for all the undercover tapes to be played, not just the ones preferred by prosecutors, saying he is confident he would be vindicated if the entire record was heard.

But prosecutors said it would improper for Blagojevich’s attorney to make reference to this, since it involves legal rulings by the judge that should be off-limits for the jury.

“Comments by counsel or witnesses along the lines, ‘If it was up to us, we would play all the tapes,’ are improper,” the government said in its filing.

Zagel already has said in court that Blagojevich could be able to play some of the tapes he wants if they corroborate his testimony. The former governor has promised to testify at the trial slated to begin June 3.

Also Monday, prosecutors objected to a request by Blagojevich’s brother, Robert, for a separate trial. The brother ran Rod Blagojevich’s campaign fund for part of 2008 and allegedly participated in only a small percentage of the charged misconduct, according to his lawyer, Michael Ettinger.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-blagojevich-bar-testimony-20100419,0,2596293.story

Lieutenant Colonel Terry Lakin, Gordon Liddy show, April 20, 2010, Lakin and attorney interview, Obama birth certificate, Court martial

Lieutenant Colonel Terry Lakin, Gordon Liddy show, April 20, 2010

“BREAKING NEWS: LTC Lakin and his attorney to be on Gordon Liddy show Tuesday morning, April 20, 2010
Please be sure to listen tomorrow morning, April 20, 2010, to the G. Gordon Liddy radio program. Lt. Col. Lakin and his civilian lawyer will give their first ever live interview to G Gordon Liddy, who is spending the entire first hour of his nationally syndicated program (from 10-11 am Eastern Time, 7-8 am Pacific)

The show is syndicated nationwide, and station list is copied below so you can find your local station. This may be the ONLY time that LTC Lakin is free to speak to the news media, so be sure to listen!

As always check back regularly to our website, www.safeguardourconstitution.com, for updates on LTC Lakin’s case.

As always, thanks for your support of LTC Lakin and his legal defense fund.”

For a list of radio stations:

http://www.safeguardourconstitution.com/news/ltc-lakin-on-gordon-liddy.html

Lt. Col Lakin, Obama birth certificate, Living in Times that Try Men’s Souls, Lakin no Sunshine Patriot, Support Lt. Col. Terry Lakin

Lt. Col Lakin, Obama birth certificate, Living in Times that Try Men’s Souls

From my good friend and patriot, Zach Jones.

“Lt. Col. Lakin’s Journey – Living in Times that Try Men’s Souls”

 

“I rarely watch the Bill O’Reilly show on Fox because I’m not a fan of Mr. O’Reilly’s interview style.   However, I received an email saying that Megyn Kelly would be looking into the allegations of Lt. Col. Terry Lakin concerning Obama’s eligibility. Ms. Kelly’s involvement tweaked my curiosity. Because of the tremendous amount of courage and commitment to principle that’s embodied in Lt. Col. Lakin’s refusal to obey orders he believes to be ‘unlawful’, I tuned in last week to see if fairness and objectivity in reporting could possibly emerge out of the morass of misinformation currently dominating the mainstream media.

Being aware that Bill O’Reilly has been consistently (mis) representing the ‘natural born citizen’ issue as merely a ‘citizenship’ issue and portraying everyone involved as a misguided group of nutcases, so I didn’t harbor any expectations that he would experience an ‘ah hah’ moment.  (Mr. O’Reilly relies on the existence of birth announcements placed in local newspapers to prove his case but fails to mention that the birth announcements were most likely placed by the state, not Obama’s family.) However, I did have hopes that Megyn Kelly, an attorney, would at least frame the issue correctly.  Once again, my hopes were misplaced.

I realize O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly are not journalists – they’re commentators/entertainers. And, the ‘natural born citizen’ issue and those attempting to peer behind the curtain have been effectively and maliciously recast by mainstream media misreporting and omission as something meriting ridicule, it’s not surprising to watch entertainers like O’Relly and Beck join in the piling on of the media herd. It’s sort of like a case of school bullying.  Sometimes – once something or someone is portrayed as being a certain way, those with knowledge that could slow or reverse the momentum of attack fail to stand up.  For whatever reason – they want to belong to the click, aren’t willing to risk criticism, want to keep a low profile, or they want to be popular (or at least not unpopular), etc.   They fail to stand up and injustice continues.

I expect this of kids but not of national media figures or news organizations. Even though FOX does lead in the race towards Fair and Balanced reporting among the mainstream media, they have consistently failed regarding the ‘natural born citizen’ issue.  In for a penny – in for a pound, I suppose.

I mention Glenn Beck only because of late he’s hammering away on a quote from Gandhi.

“Use truth as your anvil and non-violence as your hammer. And anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth and hammered with non-violence, REJECT IT.”

In any event, O’Reilly and Ms. Kelly portrayed Lt. Col. Lakin’s refusal to obey Obama’s orders as a mere attempt to attract attention to the issue.  Ms. Kelly gave no information or opinion about the ongoing controversies regarding the definition of the term ‘natural born citizen’.

This is the issue. The issue that the media (including FOX) have been intentionally ignoring and misreporting is the abundance of legal opinion indicating that in order to be a ‘natural born citizen’ both of your parents must also have been U.S. citizens at the time of your birth.  Regardless of where Obama was born, he fails to meet this part of the test to be a ‘natural born citizen’.

““Use truth as your anvil…” Isn’t this the truth the media should be focusing on?  Why won’t Obama release his long form birth certificate, college records, bar application, passport information, etc., etc., etc.? Weighed against the interest of soldiers in theater risking life and limb following ‘orders’ that could be ‘unlawful’ – doesn’t Obama’s small privacy concern pale in comparison?  Weighed against the possibility that a Lt. Col. with 18 years of service is risking his career and liberty – doesn’t Obama’s small privacy concern pale in comparison?

“…and non-violence as your hammer”  Let’s see.  Lt. Col. Lakin, CMD Kerchner, Lt. Commander Walter Fitzpatrick, III, Captian Connie Rhodes, Maj. Stefan Cook and many other members of the military have been questioning the eligibility of Obama to serve as Commander In Chief and jeapadizing their own military careers.  Is it reasonable to believe that they would not take such drastice actions without real concern over Obama’s eligibility.  How do these military lives and careers weigh in the balance when compared to merely releasing documents that every other Presidential candidate has voluntarily released?

    “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Thomas Paine

Read more:

http://australia.to/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2246:lt-col-lakins-journey–living-in-times-that-try-mens-souls-&catid=71:zach-jones&Itemid=124

Tea Party movement, Concerned Americans, Big Government, Obama administration, Obama’s past, Mainstream media lies, Government controlled health care, Democrats, Republicans, Independents

Tea Party movement, Concerned Americans, Big Government, Obama administration

Are you a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Tea partier or just a concerned American?
Well, speaking for myself, a large portion of the commenters on this blog, and I believe, what I refer to as the big center of this country, I and most people are concerned Americans. We want the federal government to do it’s job of protecting the public, adhering to the US Constitution and separation of powers and doing the bidding of the voters. We do not want big government, intrusion on our rights and freedom and ability to earn a living. We do not want the government dictating every aspect of our lives. We do not want government controlled health care rammed down our throats.
The mainstream media is painting a picture of sterotypes attending and supporting Tea Parties across this country. They would have you believe they are Republican, racists, radicals gun toting wackos. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They are mostly Democrats, Republicans, Independents, concerned Americans who are against out of control government. Many, like myself, do not like either party or status quo party politics. A great many people who have these concerns attend Tea Parties or support them. However, many Americans do not align themselves with the Tea Party movement, but do share many of the concerns. Millions of Americans question Obama, his administration, his cronies and his past. Many of these folks are active and retired military and quite a few are high ranking military officers. Despite the best efforts of the MSM and even Fox News to portray anyone questioning Obama and his past as fringe components, the wisdom of the American people and their desire for the truth prevails.
Here are two articles on the Tea Party movement.

“Establishment Terrified by Tea Party Movement”

By Matt Towery

“Whenever I’m in the nation’s capital, it’s always entertaining to see government staff, aides, lobbyists and elected officials doing their thing. They can make you feel like an outsider — unless, that is, you were there when Ronald Reagan was sworn in, doing then as they are doing now. Then you realize that they’re just younger versions of yourself.
With age and experience comes a trace of wisdom. In talking to various Washington insiders over the last few days, I’ve noticed a predominant theme: The GOP establishment hasn’t a clue how to manage the so-called Tea Party movement. And the Democrats are equally clueless as they try to profile and pigeonhole these new activists.
I’ve been closely watching Tea Partiers since about this time last year. I noticed early on that establishment Republican elected officials have been letting the Tea Party march right on past. These officeholders are afraid they’ll be seen as radical if they associate with the protest movement.
Conventional Washington wisdom seems to have it that moderate, swing voters in the fall general elections will turn away from the GOP if the party ends up with nominees for Congress who are either self-identified as Tea Partiers or are somehow associated with them.”

“The Democrats are even more in the dark. They have persuaded themselves that the Tea Party crowd is one and the same with the so-called “birthers,” who believe President Obama was not born in the United States and should not be eligible to serve as president. The Democrats welcome the Tea Party because they believe it will divide the GOP and bring to the fore weaker and less experienced Republican candidates in November. Either that, they believe, or it will cause a big chunk of disenchanted Republican voters — either establishment or Tea Party — to sit out this year’s general election altogether.”

“I keep reading media reports that try to portray some Tea Partiers as racist. They keep insisting that alleged racial slurs were hurled at certain members of Congress when the health care bill was being considered. Much media, like many Beltway insiders, are characterizing as a racist-inspired fringe element what is in fact a loud manifestation of anger and fear over taxes, government growth, and possible abridgements of future liberty and security.
I don’t buy it. The Tea Party may or may not be substantial enough to transform the GOP into a more conservative party. But my polling tells this: We are likely to see Republican primaries this year that will be contested as never before. And that means there could be an avalanche of Americans voting Republican in November.
The Tea Party effort is both symbolic and a catalyst. It will end up spurring a rush of voter intensity the GOP hasn’t seen since 1994. Oh, yes, I liked this town a lot in those days.”

Read more:

http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/mtowery/2010/mt_04151.shtml
 

“Alinsky’s Avenging Angels: Tea Party Saboteurs

By Michelle Malkin

“One of the popular signs spotted at Tea Party protests across the country over the past year goes like this: “It doesn’t matter what this sign says. You’ll call it racism, anyway!” It’s a pithy, perfect rejoinder to the fusillade of attacks that limited-government activists have weathered from their Democratic detractors and a hostile national media. Committed Alinsky-ites never let reality get in the way of a good Tea Party-bashing narrative.
The radical acolytes of Chicago’s late left-wing organizer Saul Alinsky also understand the importance of manufacturing demons. “Before men can act,” Alinsky preached, “an issue must be polarized. Men will act when they are convinced their cause is 100 percent on the side of the angels, and that the opposition are 100 percent on the side of the devil.” This explains the left’s relentless campaign to sabotage the anti-tax, anti-bailout movement from Day One.
President Obama’s community organizing allies whispered “racist,” “fascist” and “fringe” in the earliest days of the stimulus demonstrations in January and February 2009, when hundreds of first-time protesters turned out on the streets in Washington State, Colorado, Arizona and Kansas. The whispers turned to hysterical screams as hundreds became thousands and thousands became millions of peaceful marchers who gathered for the first nationwide Tax Day Tea Party. Some fringe, huh?
The latest effort to smear Tea Partiers involves self-appointed agents provocateurs who are organizing a “Crash the Tea Party” campaign to discredit the April 15 Tax Day Tea Party by making up bogus racist signs and providing false portrayals of grassroots activists to the press. An online punk, Jason Levin, is spearheading the infiltration effort to “act on behalf of the Tea Party in ways which exaggerate their least appealing qualities” and “damage the public’s opinion of them.” Never mind that public opinion polls now show that the majority of Americans stand with the core principles of fiscal responsibility espoused by Tea Party activists.”

“Fast-forward to April 2010. Alinsky’s avenging angels have declared open warfare on April 15. Will they be enabled again by “mainstream journalists” who have turned their Tea Party reporting assignments into search-and-destroy missions? The signs point to yes.”

Read more:

http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/mmalkin/2010/mm_04141.shtml