Blagojevich Rezko Obama, Blagojevich trial, April 24, 2010
Will Barack Obama be subpoened to testify in the Rod Blagojevich trial?
Will Obama throw Tony Rezko under the bus?
Will Tony Rezko open up about his schemes with Obama?
If Rezko clams up, will Stuart Levine, the key witness in the Rezko trial, supply the details about Obama’s involvement?
We now have the defense team and the prosecution dipping into the pool of corruption cronies tied to Blagojevich and Obama.
From John Kass of the Chicago Tribune.
“Blagojevich sends not-so-subtle message to Obama”
“Rod Blagojevich finally made good on a promise: He put President Barack Obama right in the middle of Blagojevich’s own political corruption case.
And now it’s finally clear why, from the moment of Blagojevich’s arrest in December 2008, White House spinners loudly portrayed our former Gov. Dead Meat as some drooling, raving lunatic.
A lunatic is not to be believed, and Dead Meat will continue to be characterized as such by Obama defenders. But raving lunatics care little for their own survival. And in an amazing defense motion filed Thursday, Blagojevich proved once again that he is quite sane.
He wants Obama to testify in his federal criminal case. The feds allege that Blagojevich conspired to sell off Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat, among other charges.
Obama’s former patron and real estate fairy, the convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko, is a key player in the government’s case. Blagojevich’s aim is to undercut what Rezko has told investigators.
And now Blago wants the president to do the undercutting from the witness stand, with the nation riveted to his every recollection of his days in Chicago politics, hanging with Tony and the guys, with the midterm November elections approaching.
“President Obama has pertinent information as to the character of Mr. Rezko,” the Blagojevich filing states. “President Obama can testify to Mr. Rezko’s reputation for truthfulness, as well as his own opinion of Mr. Rezko’s character. Based on the relationship that President Obama and Mr. Rezko had, President Obama can provide important information as to Mr. Rezko’s plan, intent, opportunity, habit and modus operandi.””
“Thursday’s filing quotes an account by Rezko suggesting that when Obama was an Illinois state senator, his campaign received political cash from Rezko. It also points to assertions by Rezko insinuating that he and Obama had conversations about a casino deal in Rosemont that Rezko stood to make a killing on.
“Rezko has stated to the government that he and the public official [believed to be Obama] had certain conversations about gaming legislation and administration, which the public official denies having had,” the filing states.
“President Obama is the only one who can testify as to the veracity of Mr. Rezko’s allegations above.”
It’s no secret that some in journalism get offended when anyone dares mention that the president was involved in Chicago politics. But the filing is not only a legal document, it’s a political message from Blagojevich to Obama. So allow me to translate the Chicago Way.
“Dear Barack, my old friend. I want you to use all your powers, all your skills, to make me an offer I can’t refuse. I’m Mr. Celebrity-get-me-out-of-here, and you better get me out of here. Thanks, Rod.”
The most interesting portions of the filing were supposed to be kept secret. Whole sections were redacted (i.e., blacked out) and remained so for hours.
But there appears to have been a clerical error. And Rich Miller of The Capitol Fax Blog revealed a way to unlock the redacted parts. So we followed Mr. Miller’s easy instructions, pressed a few keys on the computer, and presto!
All the redacted material was magically reinstated.”
“It’s not good for Obama. But whether you agree or disagree with his politics, it’s clear that he’s in a difficult position.
His former close buddy, Rezko — “That’s not the Tony Rezko I know” — still swings like some albatross from his neck, and it’s getting quite stinky. It’s hard to transcend the old politics of the past with that dead bird weighing you down.
And his political guys, who were sent from Mayor Richard Daley’s City Hall to run his administration, have served him poorly. They shouldn’t have let this get anywhere near the president.”