Blagojevich retrial Rezko and Obama, Judge James Zagel cautions Blagojevich, Justice Dept. corruption
“Why did the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee, with Obama as chairman, create and push Bill 1332, “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” early in 2003, which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, just prior to rigging by Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich
The Rod Blagojevich retrial begins tomorrow, if you can call it a trial.
From the Chicago Tribune April 18, 2011.
“Federal prosecutors called Rod Blagojevich’s a ‘liar’ on Monday, and a judge warned the ousted Illinois governor to watch what he says to the media because some of his comments could be used against him at his upcoming corruption retrial.
Looking down sternly from his bench, Judge James Zagel cautioned Blagojevich’s lawyers during a status hearing in Chicago held two days before the ex-governor’s retrial is scheduled to start Wednesday.
“You can consider my remarks a red flag,” Zagel said.
His admonishment came after lead prosecutor Reid Schar complained about Blagojevich accusations in recent media appearances that federal attorneys had tried to hide evidence that might clear the ex-governor.”
“Schar singled out alleged comments Blagojevich made on television, in which the ex-governor claimed the government had the power to publicly release more FBI wiretap recordings. That power lies with the judge, Schar noted.”
In the first “trial” approximately 2% of the wiretaps were released and neither Tony Rezko or Stuart Levine, who were heavily enmeshed in the corruption Blagojevich was involved in, and tie Obama to it, were called as witnesses.
Reprinted from Citizen Wells.
The dropping of counts 1,2 and 4 against Blagojevich by the prosecution was the latest move in a long series of maneuvers to protect Obama from being exposed for his long time ties to Tony Rezko and corruption in Chicago. Rezko was not called as a witness in the first Blagojevich trial and the odds are now higher that he will not be called as a witness in the second trial.
Reprinted from Citizen Wells July 21, 2010.
“The last thing Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich needed was that letter written by convicted Illinois influence peddler Tony Rezko promising he’d never rat out his pals.”…John Kass, Chicago tribune
“Federal authorities have obtained an arrest warrant for Rezko, who is believed to be traveling abroad.”..Rezko indictment press release
“That was when U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve learned he had received a $3.5 million wire transfer from a business associate abroad.”…Rezko trial transcripts
Where is Tony Rezko?
What unholy alliance prevented Tony Rezko from being called as a prosecution witness? Was it a pact between Rezko, Blagojevich and Obama? Is the US Justice Department complicit in a coverup? Was there pressure from entities in the Middle East? Perhaps a combination of those forces. In Blagojevich’s own words.
Citizen Wells August 28, 2008
“As his sentencing nears, pressure is mounting on Tony Rezko to cooperate with federal investigations into some of the highest-profile politicians in the state — including Gov. Blagojevich.”
“Now, sources tell the Chicago Sun-Times that Rezko has been seen at the federal courthouse as many as a dozen times since his June conviction. He’s been held since then at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.”
“If Rezko’s cooperating, that would be a major development in “Operation Board Games,” the government’s ongoing probe into state boards that’s widened into a broader corruption probe.”
From the Chicago SunTimes October 9, 2008
“A federal judge this morning officially postponed the sentencing of political fund-raiser Tony Rezko as he continues his discussions with the government.
U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve indefinitely delayed Rezko’s Oct. 28 sentencing date and told the parties to meet again for a status in the case in December.
The sentencing, originally scheduled for Oct. 28, just before the election, was likely to bring unfavorable publicity to Rezko’s onetime friend Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama.
Prosecutors and Rezko lawyers said this morning they did not want to set a future date for sentencing.
Rezko lawyer William Ziegelmueller said they sought the delay to “work together to agree to otherwise narrow differences at sentencing.”
The agreement comes as Rezko is talking to federal prosecutors. The Sun-Times first reported Rezko’s meetings with the feds in August and sources close to the investigation later confirmed the talks last month.”
From the Chicago SunTimes February 3, 2009
“Convicted businessman Tony Rezko — who is poised to become a crucial witness in the massive corruption case against ex-Gov. Blagojevich — was quietly moved out of a downtown jail and into another facility last month, the Sun-Times has learned.
Authorities seeking Rezko’s cooperation pushed for the move after Rezko complained about being held in the tough confines of solitary imprisonment, known as “the hole,” even as he was providing information to prosecutors, sources said.”
“Rezko’s relocation is a sign that even with thousands of taped conversations of the governor, investigators still highly value Rezko’s potential as a witness.”
“Rezko, who served as an adviser and fund-raiser to Blagojevich, provided authorities with substantial information involving the governor and bolstered pay-to-play testimony by former Illinois Finance Authority director Ali Ata, as well as talking about other alleged deals.”
From the Washington Examiner April 20, 2010.
“Where in the world is Tony Rezko?”
“Why is Antoin “Tony” Rezko under lock and key at an undisclosed location, like some sort of CIA-renditioned al Qaeda operative? And why hasn’t he been sentenced yet?
As the June 3 corruption trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich for allegedly trying to sell Obama’s former Illinois Senate seat approaches, the whereabouts of the former Blago and Obama fundraiser is literally a state secret.”
“Rezko’s not listed on the federal Bureau of Prisons’ inmate locator, either.”
“Randall Samborn, spokesman for Fitzgerald, told The Examiner that Rezko “remains in federal custody,” although admitting that he didn’t know exactly where the convicted businessman was being held. Samborn also confirmed that “there is no sentencing date,” but would not elaborate. Sources in Chicago tell us that the long delay is “very unusual.””
“Is Rezko being held at another prison facility for his own safety? There are plenty of people in Chicago and Washington who might not want Rezko on the witness stand. They include:
Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias.
Rezko was such an enthusiastic customer of Giannoulias’ failing Broadway Bank that he wrote $450,000 in bad checks against his account to pay off gambling debts.
Alderman Eddie Burke
Rezko hired Burke’s law firm to get a 77 percent reduction in the real estate taxes of a 62-acre property along the Chicago River he planned to develop using $140 million in city subsidies. After assuring the Chicago Board of Ethics that he would abstain from any Council votes on Rezko’s project, Burke voted for it anyway, blaming his conflict of interest on “an error.” The project was later abandoned.
President Barack Obama
Rezko was the president’s “real estate fairy,” as one Chicago columnist likes to put it. Remember how they bought a house together in Chicago? Rezko was one of Obama’s earliest and biggest fundraisers and donors. Obama was one of his go-to guys for housing legislation in the Illinois state Senate.
If I were Tony Rezko, I’d be hiding, too.”
It is understandable why the Blagojevich defense team does not want Rezko on the stand. Judge Zagel’s comment about Rezko being a bad witness is at least horsecrap and reeks of conspiracy. Convicted felons of all categories are regularly used as witnesses. Stuart Levine, the key witness in the Rezko trial was not only enmeshed in corruption but was a long time drug user.
Here are the approximate number of times that “Rezko” is mentioned in US Justice Department documents.
Indictment: 100 times.
Criminal complaint: 170 times.
Evidentiary Proffer: 288 times.
Even if a strong argument is made against using Rezko as a witness, and good luck with that argument, Stuart Levine was used extensively as a witness in the Rezko trial, and his name was mentioned approx. 146 times in the Blagojevich Criminal Complaint. And don’t forget, Blagojevich’s name was mentioned at least 30 times on one day of the Rezko trial.
Patrick Fitzgerald, I am damn angry and am speaking up about US Justice Department corruption.
The Chicago Tribune just reported this:
“”I felt all along and believed all along that I was going to testify,” he said. But he said the government case wasn’t as they presented it, without calling witnesses Antoin “Tony” Rezko and Stuart Levine, both convicted in the federal probe.”
I am not the only person coming to the no brainer conclusion that Rezko or Stuart Levine must be called to the witness stand. From Citizen Wells August 19, 2010.
““If I were a Blago juror …”
“If I were a juror, I’d wonder why we never heard from so many of the allegedly bad guys — Tony Rezko, Stuart Levine — mentioned by the prosecution.”
“As noted in part 5 of this series, Tony Rezko’s name was mentioned approximately 288 times in the Evidentiary Proffer. The above numbers reveal that of the evidence presented in the Proffer, 38 pages are loaded with names and corruption activities tied to Blagojevich from 2002 to mid 2008. And yet neither Tony Rezko or Stuart Levine were called as witnesses. And just as predicted and warned about here, the focus of the trial was the selling of Obama’s senate seat.””
“An expert on law has commented on Rezko and Levine being called as witnesses. Leonard Cavise is a DePaul University law professor.”
“But Leonard Cavise, a DePaul University professor, suggested the government will need to do more at the retrial, possibly leading to a longer presentation of evidence. He said he believes the government may try to avoid another deadlocked jury by using fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko and political fixer Stuart Levine as witnesses.
Both men have agreed to cooperate, but prosecutors chose not to call them this summer in part because of the baggage both bring.
“If the prosecution insists on going forward, I have two words for them: Rezko and Levine,” Cavise said. “They know where all the bodies are buried.””