Blagojevich prosecution delays protect Obama, Part 1, Blagojevich arrest delayed after 2008 election, Patrick Fitzgerald USDOJ had key witness and crimes
“Why wasn’t Rod Blagojevich, Governor of IL, prosecuted before Tony Rezko, a businessman?”…Citizen Wells
“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“Blagojevich’s name has been mentioned often. It was brought up at least 30 times Wednesday morning by Stuart Levine, the government’s star witness against Rezko.”…Tony Rezko trial
“Regardless of how this plays out, it benefits Obama. If there is no appeal or the appeal is denied, Blagojevich will be sequestered. If the appeal proceeds, it could drag out beyond impacting the 2012 election cycle. The intent is obvious.”…Citizen Wells, July 19, 2011
The Blagojevich arrest was delayed
Was Barack Obama the original plan for the presidency by the DNC and Chicago Machine? Rod Blagojevich envisioned himself in that office. But in a high
profile position as Governor of Illinois, with brashness by nature and a less stealthy approach to pay to play politics than Obama, the feds began investigating him in 2003 and reports soon hit the Chicago media of corruption in his administration.
The bulk of the charges in the Criminal complaint, indictment and evidentiary proffer and indeed, what the Tony Rezko trial centered around, took place from 2003 to 2005. They include much activity involving the TRS, Teacher Retirement System, Hospital construction approval, a plan to shakedown Children’s Memorial Hospital, appointments to state government such as Ali Ata to the Illinois Finance Authority and real estate transactions involving Blagojevich’s wife Patti.
One of the clearest examples of impacting the citizens of Illinois was the corruption of the TRS.
2003: “Of the five funds, the one in the sorriest shape is the Illinois Teacher Retirement System, which provides the pensions for suburban and downstate
teachers. Its ratio of assets to liabilities stood at a mere 52 percent last year, so poor that it was considered among the five worst-funded plans in the
country.” Chicago Magazine March 23, 2011
“Rezko’s partner in the Rezmar development company, Daniel Mahru, is referred to as “Individual Z” in the indictment, and according to court filings, Rezko told Mahru that “$500 million” of TRS money was earmarked for their company. Mahru is reportedly cooperating with federal investigators.”
“In addition to lining their own pockets, the money gained through the scheme was funneled to the campaigns of Blagojevich and Obama. Prosecutors have identified two $10,000 payments that were made to Obama’s US Senate campaign through straw donors Joseph Aramanda and Elie Maloof, which originated from a kickback paid by investment firm, Glencoe Capital, to secure approval for a $50 million deal. Evelyn Pringle, “Operation Board games for Slum Lords”
“The brief conversation was between Levine and Rezko on April 24, 2004, just three days after Levine said he and Rezko had rigged a vote of a state hospital
planning board to approve a controversial hospital in Crystal Lake. Hospital contractor Jacob Kiferbaum was going to pay Levine and Rezko $1 million in
bribes if the Crystal Lake facility won approval, Levine has testified.
Levine testified that he called Rezko on April 24 to set up a meeting to discuss their next shakedown target: Children’s Memorial Hospital. Just minutes
before Levine called Rezko, Levine had hung up with a money manager from the investment banking firm Bear Stearns named Nicholas Hurtgen, who prosecutors say was a confederate in past Levine kickback schemes.” Rezko trial, March 21, 2008
So, why would the prosecution of Blagojevich be delayed despite the fact that he profoundly affected the citizens and state of IL?
- Obama had a clear role in the rigging of the health planning board.
- Obama played a role in cronyism affecting the TRS, Teacher Retirement System.
- Obama had long time and regular associations with Tony Rezko and was as Blagojevich stated in a wiretap “more tony’d up than me.”
- A blagojevich trial before the 2008 elections would have stopped Obama. Tony Rezko would not talk about Obama, Blagojevich did and would.
The following facts make the argument that Rod Blagojevich should have been arrested long before December 8, 2008 and before Tony Rezko.
- Blagojevich began scheming as soon as he entered office. From the Blagojevich arrest press release. “The charges include historical allegations that Blagojevich and Harris schemed with others – including previously convicted defendants Antoin Rezko, Stuart Levine, Ali Ata and others – since becoming governor in 2002 to obtain and attempt to obtain financial benefits for himself, his family and third parties, including his campaign committee, Friends of Blagojevich, in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions, state employment, state contracts and access to state funds.”
- Pamela Meyer Davis began wearing a secret FBI wiretap in late 2003 to record conversations involving state health planning board.
- Most of the corruption in the Tony Rezko, Stuart Levine and Rod Blagojevich indictments took place between 2003 and 2005. Counts 1, 2 and 4 in the Blagojevich Indictment were eventualy dropped. Those counts covered that time period and represented approximately half of the indictment.
- “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.” Rezko trial March 12, 2008
- June 7, 2004: Stuart Levine, member of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, abruptly resigns. This is the first indication that the Blagojevich administration is under federal criminal investigation.
- July 2, 2004: Stuart Levine resigns from the state Teachers’ Retirement System board.
- May 9, 2005: Stuart Levine indicted on corruption charges. Federal subpoena issued to Tony Rezko.
- Sept. 15, 2005: Joseph Cari, former lawyer for the state’s teacher’s pension board pleads guilty to extortion. A high ranking public official is described in court documents only as “Public official A.”
- Oct. 25, 2005: The Chicago Tribune reports about a federal grand jury investigation into the alleged political hiring practices of the Blagojevich administration.
- Aug. 5, 2006: The Chicago Tribune reports that Stuart Levine is cooperating with the federal investigation of state government.
- Sometime between May 9, 2005 and August 5, 2006, Levine has begun cooperating with the feds. Levine knows almost as much as Rezko and becomes the key witness in the Rezko trial and other prosecutions. The Feds know plenty about Blagojevich at this point.
- Oct. 11, 2006: Tony Rezko is indicted on federal charges he sought millions of dollars in kickbacks and campaign donations from firms seeking state business.
- So far everything seems normal and makes sense. The next move should be to indict Blagojevich. Blagojevich, the governor, versus Rezko, the businessman, has the power to corrupt state government, has been doing so and thanks to Levine, the Feds know the details. If you have any doubts about this, read the transcripts of the Rezko trial. For example: “Gov. Rod Blagojevich has avoided answering questions about the corruption trial of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the other day declaring, “I’m not in that case.” But Blagojevich’s name has been mentioned often. It was brought up at least 30 times Wednesday morning by Stuart Levine, the government’s star witness against Rezko. Rezko trial March 19, 2008.
- Patrick Fitzgerald and the feds wait over 2 years, until December 9, 2008 to arrest Blagojevich and then state they are trying to protect the citizens of Illinois. From the Government’s Sentencing Memorandum, signed by Patrick Fitzgerald and filed on November 30, 2011: “By way of comparison, Antoin Rezko,…received a sentence of 126 months imprisonment for corrupt activity that he engaged in directly with Blagojevich or with Blagojevich’s tacit approval. Yet, Rezko:(a) held no elected office of trust;”
- Oct. 22, 2006: Obama publicly states he is considering a run for the Presidency.
- Oct. 27, 2006: Stuart Levine pleads guilty in a scheme to squeeze millions of dollars from firms seeking state business. Court papers contain allegations that Rezko and Christopher Kelly were using their influence for corrupt purposes.
- November 7, 2006 USA Today reports: “Despite scandal, Gov. Blagojevich wins re-election in Illinois” “U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has said he is investigating “very serious” allegations of hiring fraud at multiple agencies under Blagojevich.”
- January 16, 2007:”Judicial Watch filed an open records lawsuit against the office of Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-IL), who is under federal investigation on several fronts, including corrupt hiring practices. Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, filed on January 16, 2007 in the Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court, specifically seeks, among other documents, any and all grand jury subpoenas received by the Governor’s office or any state agencies under the Governor’s control.” http://www.judicialwatch.org/blagojevich
- October 28, 2007 the Chicago Tribune reports: “Removing a governor” “The public disappointment in Rod Blagojevich, whose tenure follows the corrupt regime of George Ryan, should launch a public debate: Do the people of this state want a way to say to their politicians, “You are serving your interests, not ours. You are dismissed.”” http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2007/11/gnad.html
- May 2, 2008 a governor recall initiative was narrowly defeated. “State government is hemorrhaging with scandal and corruption,” Sen. Dan Cronin, sponsor.
- June 4, 2008 Tony Rezko convicted on 16 of 24 counts. Counts 1, 11, 12, 14, 15 were related to Mercy Hospital and the rigging of the Planning Board.
- Dec. 9, 2008 Blagojevich is arrested. “Fitzgerald said, “We make no allegations” that Obama was aware of any alleged scheming by Blagojevich.”
- Jan. 9, 2009 IL House votes 114 to 1 to impeach Blagojevich.
- Jan 29, 2009 IL Senate removes Blagojevich from office.
Having read the above, forget for a moment the supposition that Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department were protecting Obama and ask the simple question:
Why was Blagojevich left in office until December 2008?
Good question, eh?
Some truths are ageless and I often quote Shakespeare.
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
Patrick Fitzgerald stated after the Blagojevich arrest:
“The complaint makes no allegations about the president-elect whatsoever.”
“We make no allegations that he’s aware of anything.”
“But we ask that the press, in particular, recognize that we are not casting aspirsions on people other than the two people we charged and bear that in mind and be responsible.”
Fitzgerald admits that the crime spree had been going on for years.
“I just think it’s very, very disturbing that we have these pay-to-play allegations going on for years.”
And I would add, criminal.
I stand by earlier statements that the selling of the senate seat was a well crafted diversion. The facts presented above and in coming articles will make this intuitively obvious.
Below are some resources for further reading.
Blagojevich arrest press release
Blagojevich Criminal Complaint
Blagojevich Second superceding indictment
Blagojevich Evidentiary Proffer
Rezko trial transcripts
Rezko trial transcripts related to the rigging of the planning board
Evelyn Pringle articles
Blagojevich trial pre trial events and facts