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.”
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.”