Category Archives: Blagojevich

Blagojevich appeal update March 5, 2016, US Supreme Court opposition brief filed by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. Feb 19, Petition for a writ of certiorari should be denied, Blagojevich knew he was offering to exchange official actions for money

Blagojevich appeal update March 5, 2016, US Supreme Court opposition brief filed by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. Feb 19, Petition for a writ of certiorari should be denied, Blagojevich knew he was offering to exchange
official actions for money

Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

“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  opposition brief filed by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.on  February 19 in the Rod Blagojevich US Supreme Court appeal finally showed up.

“No. 15-664
In the Supreme Court of the United States

ROD BLAGOJEVICH, PETITIONER
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ON PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI
TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT

BRIEF FOR THE UNITED STATES IN OPPOSITION

DONALD B. VERRILLI, JR.
Solicitor General
Counsel of Record”

“QUESTIONS PRESENTED

1. Whether the court of appeals correctly upheld
petitioner’s conviction for extortion under color of
official right where the jury was instructed that the
government must prove that petitioner “agree[d] to
accept money or property believing that it would be
given in exchange for a specific requested exercise of
his official power.”

2. Whether the court of appeals correctly held that
petitioner may not defend against charges of extortion,
honest-services fraud, and bribery by claiming
that he genuinely believed that he could lawfully exchange
his official actions for money.”

“1. As an initial matter, the Court’s review is unwarranted
at this time because the case is still in an
interlocutory posture. The court of appeals vacated
five counts of conviction, vacated petitioner’s sentence,
and remanded to the district court for retrial
and resentencing. Pet. App. 23a. This Court normally
“await[s] final judgment in the lower courts before
exercising [its] certiorari jurisdiction.” VMI v. United
States, 508 U.S. 946 (1993) (Scalia, J., respecting denial
of certiorari); see Hamilton-Brown Shoe Co. v. Wolf
Bros. & Co., 240 U.S. 251, 258 (1916) (describing interlocutory
posture as “a fact that of itself alone furnishe[s]
sufficient ground for the denial of” certiorari).
That practice ensures that all of a defendant’s claims
will be consolidated and presented in a single petition.
Here, the interests of judicial economy would be
served best by denying review now and allowing petitioner
to reassert his claims—including any new
claims that might arise following resentencing or
retrial, if one occurs—at the conclusion of the proceedings.
See Major League Baseball Players Ass’n
v. Garvey, 532 U.S. 504, 508 n.1 (2001) (per curiam)
(“[W]e have authority to consider questions determined
in earlier stages of the litigation.”).

2. Petitioner contends (Pet. 17) that this Court’s
review is needed to resolve a disagreement in the
lower courts on whether a jury must be instructed
that Hobbs Act extortion involves an “explicit” exchange
of official actions for campaign contributions.
No such conflict exists; petitioner’s argument is without
merit; and this would be a poor case to address the
argument in any event.”

“Elonis involved a prosecution under 18 U.S.C.
875(c) for communicating threats, and it addressed the
“requirement that a defendant act with a certain mental
state in communicating a threat.” 135 S. Ct. at
2008. Applying background presumptions about the
mens rea required for criminal liability, the Court
concluded that the defendant must be more than negligent
about the threatening nature of the communications.
Id. at 2011. But Elonis did not hold that Section
875(c) requires proof that the defendant knew his
actions were criminal. To the contrary, the Court
rejected the notion “that a defendant must know that
his conduct is illegal before he may be found guilty.”
Id. at 2009; see ibid. (“The familiar maxim ‘ignorance
of the law is no excuse’ typically holds true.”). The
Court thus focused on the defendant’s mental state
with respect to his own actions, while making clear
that knowledge of the legal consequences of his actions
is not required. Ibid. (“[A] defendant generally
must know the facts that make his conduct fit the
definition of the offense, even if he does not know that
those facts give rise to a crime.”) (citation and internal
quotation marks omitted). That same focus applies
here as well: Petitioner could validly be convicted
because he knew that he was offering to exchange
official actions for money—whether or not he also
knew that doing so was illegal.”

“CONCLUSION

The petition for a writ of certiorari should be
denied.”

https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/osg/briefs/2016/03/04/15-664_blagojevich_v._us_opp.pdf

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Blagojevich US Supreme Court appeal opposition brief filed by Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli Jr. former Obama Deputy Counsel, Brief filed Feb 19 but does not show up on site, Fox guarding the hen house

Blagojevich US Supreme Court appeal opposition brief filed by Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli Jr. former Obama Deputy Counsel, Brief filed Feb 19 but does not show up on site, Fox guarding the hen house

Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

“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

 

 

More mysterious goin ons in the Rod Blagojevich prosecution and incarceration.

I don’t expect efficiency or accountability from government.

I see it on the local and national level.

If you follow Citizen Wells, you know that we follow closely the Blagojevich cases.

Friday, February 19, 2016 was the extended deadline for a response.

There was none listed on Friday or over the weekend.

Just checked this morning and found:

No. 15-664
Title:
Rod Blagojevich, Petitioner
v.
United States
Docketed: November 19, 2015
Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  Case Nos.: (11-3853)
  Decision Date: July 21, 2015
  Rehearing Denied: August 19, 2015

 

~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nov 17 2015 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due December 21, 2015)
Dec 16 2015 Order extending time to file response to petition to and including January 20, 2016.
Dec 21 2015 Brief amici curiae of Current and Former Elected Officials, et al. filed.
Jan 7 2016 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including February 19, 2016.
Feb 19 2016 Brief of respondent United States in opposition filed.

The brief is no where to be found.

http://www.justice.gov/osg/supreme-court-briefs

By the way, the US Solicitor General is Donald B. Verrilli Jr. former Obama Deputy Counsel.

Think that might be a problem?

The fox guarding the hen house.

Scalia dead with pillow over head, No autopsy, Blagojevich appeal before conference Feb 19, Ted Cruz eligibility ruling likely which affects Obama, Obama has been eager to appoint SCOTUS justice, Strongest constitutional justice gone, Reason for conspiracy theories?

Scalia dead with pillow over head, No autopsy, Blagojevich appeal before conference Feb 19, Ted Cruz eligibility ruling likely which affects Obama, Obama has been eager to appoint SCOTUS justice, Strongest constitutional justice gone, Reason for conspiracy theories?

“We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled,”…John Poindexter, owner of ranch

“Who benefited most from the suicide/murder of Orlando Jones?
Who benefited most from the murder of Donald Young?
Who benefited most from the murder of Lt. Quarles Harris Jr.?
Who benefited most from the suicide/murder of Christopher Kelly?
Who benefited most from the murder of Bill Gwatney?
Who benefited most from the death/murder of Andrew Breitbart?
And now
Loretta Fuddy?”…Citizen Wells

“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

 

 

Justice Scalia was found dead with a pillow over his head.

There was no autopsy.

This Friday, February 19, 2016, the Blagojevich appeal is scheduled for conference.

The US Supreme Court will likely be called on to rule on Ted Cruz’s eligibility as a natural born citizen. This of course affects Obama too.

The SCOTUS justice with the strongest record of adhering to the US Constitution is gone.

Obama has been eager to appoint another liberal justice to add to his left wing legacy.

Any reason for conspiracy theories?

Nah.

Read more about how Justice Scalia was found here:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Texas-ranch-owner-recalls-Scalia-s-last-hours-6830372.php

Read more about the Blagojevich appeal and associated Amicus Brief:

https://citizenwells.com/2016/02/15/justice-scalia-blagojevich-obama-blagojevich-appeal-response-due-by-february-19-in-us-supreme-court-no-scalia-to-respond-has-protecting-obama-reached-a-new-high/

Justice Scalia Blagojevich Obama, Blagojevich appeal response due by February 19 in US Supreme Court, No Scalia to respond, Has protecting Obama reached a new high?

Justice Scalia Blagojevich Obama, Blagojevich appeal response due by February 19 in US Supreme Court, No Scalia to respond, Has protecting Obama reached a new high?

Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

“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

 

 

As reported at Citizen Wells, a response from the US Supreme Court on the Rod Blagojevich appeal is due February 19, 2016.

“The US Supreme Court website reveals the following status of the Rod Blagojevich appeal:

No. 15-664
Title:
Rod Blagojevich, Petitioner
v.
United States
Docketed: November 19, 2015
Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  Case Nos.: (11-3853)
  Decision Date: July 21, 2015
  Rehearing Denied: August 19, 2015

 

~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nov 17 2015 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due December 21, 2015)
Dec 16 2015 Order extending time to file response to petition to and including January 20, 2016.
Dec 21 2015 Brief amici curiae of Current and Former Elected Officials, et al. filed.
Jan 7 2016 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including February 19, 2016.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docketfiles/15-664.htm

An amicus brief was filed on December 21, 2015 by attorney Alan R. Friedman on behalf of Current and Former Elected Officials, et al.”

“From the brief:

“Summary of Argument

Amici urge the Court to grant the writ on the first
question presented by Petitioner in order to address an
issue of national importance. Although amici take no
position on Mr. Blagojevich’s innocence or guilt on any
of the counts of conviction, they submit that this Court’s
guidance is needed to distinguish the lawful solicitation of
campaign contributions from criminal violations of federal
extortion, bribery, and fraud laws.”

https://citizenwells.com/2016/01/18/blagojevich-amicus-brief-urges-supreme-court-to-hear-case-blagojevich-scotus-appeal-update-january-18-2016-time-to-file-response-to-petition-extended-twice-brief-amici-curiae-of-current-and-former/

A Justice Scalia position in 1998 affected the Blagojevich trial.

From the American Spectator.
“BLAGOJEVICH AND SCALIA”

“A federal jury convicted Governor Rod Blagojevich yesterday of one single count, remaining undecided on the other 23. And for that one guilty charge, we can thank Justice Scalia.

No, Justice Scalia had nothing to do with the Blagojevich case. But in a way, he had everything to do with it.

Governor Blagojevich was convicted of making false statements to federal agents. He told the FBI that he did not track campaign contributions and kept a “firewall” between his campaign and his official duties as Governor. In other words, federal agents asked him if he broke the law — and just like any child who is caught with his hand in the cookie jar — he said “no.”

Before 1998, this decision might have been different. Until then, federal courts routinely excused people for what they called the “exculpatory no.” If a federal agent came to your house and asked if you did something illegal, and you said “no,” you were off the hook for making false statements.”

“Brogan argued that a defendant had to be excused for his denial to federal agents because the spirit of the Fifth Amendment would be violated when someone is “cornered” and given a “cruel trilemma”: tell the truth (and admit guilt), remain silent, or lie (and falsely deny guilt).

Scalia snapped back, saying lying is not an option. An innocent person, after all, would not face the same trilemma. The innocent person only has two options: tell the truth or remain silent.”

Read more:

http://spectator.org/articles/39072/blagojevich-and-scalia

From the Washington Post December 7, 2009.

“Supreme Court to take up corruption law”

“At issue is the law’s language that it is illegal for public or private employees to “deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.” The flexible standard has been part of the law for more than 20 years, but lately it has been subject to a slew of contradictory lower-court rulings and criticism, not the least of which has come from Justice Antonin Scalia.

Last term, in dissenting from his colleagues’ decision not to review the law, Scalia said the provision “invites abuse by headline-grabbing prosecutors in pursuit of local officials, state legislators and corporate C.E.O.’s who engage in any manner of unappealing or ethically questionable conduct.”

He said the assertion that “officeholders and employees owe a duty to act only in the best interests of their constituents and employers” was so loose it could be construed to “cover a salaried employee’s phoning in sick to go to a ballgame.”

Apparently, the court took Scalia’s alert to heart, accepting appeals for two high-profile convictions in the corporate world and the case of an obscure Alaska lawmaker.”

Read more:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/06/AR2009120602390.html

And now we have a decision affecting the prison sentence of Blagojevich and ultimately Obama, and no Justice Scalia to speak up.

What a curious time for Justice Scalia to die of “natural causes.”

Blagojevich amicus brief urges supreme court to hear case, Blagojevich SCOTUS appeal update January 18, 2016, Time to file response to petition extended twice, Brief amici curiae of current and former elected officials

Blagojevich amicus brief urges supreme court to hear case, Blagojevich SCOTUS appeal update January 18, 2016, Time to file response to petition extended twice, Brief amici curiae of current and former elected officials

Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

“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 US Supreme Court website reveals the following status of the Rod Blagojevich appeal:

No. 15-664
Title:
Rod Blagojevich, Petitioner
v.
United States
Docketed: November 19, 2015
Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  Case Nos.: (11-3853)
  Decision Date: July 21, 2015
  Rehearing Denied: August 19, 2015

 

~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nov 17 2015 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due December 21, 2015)
Dec 16 2015 Order extending time to file response to petition to and including January 20, 2016.
Dec 21 2015 Brief amici curiae of Current and Former Elected Officials, et al. filed.
Jan 7 2016 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including February 19, 2016.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docketfiles/15-664.htm

An amicus brief was filed on December 21, 2015 by attorney Alan R. Friedman on behalf of Current and Former Elected Officials, et al.

List of Amici Curiae:

Jan Schakowsky is an incumbent member of the
United States House of Representatives from Illinois.

Danny Davis is an incumbent member of the United
States House of Representatives from Illinois.

Mike Quigley is an incumbent member of the United
States House of Representatives from Illinois.

Bobby Rush is an incumbent member of the United
States House of Representatives from Illinois.

Bob Barr is a former United States Attorney
and a former member of the United States House of
Representatives from Georgia.

William Lipinski is a former member of the United
States House of Representatives from Illinois.

David Phelps is a former member of the United States
House of Representatives from Illinois.

Glenn Poshard is a former member of the United
States House of Representatives from Illinois and a
former President of Southern Illinois University.

Emil Jones is a former President of the Illinois
Senate and a former member of the Illinois House of
Representatives.

Carol Ronen is a former member of the Illinois Senate.
Skip Saviano, is a former member of the Illinois House
of Representatives. He is the current Village President
of Elmwood Park

Margaret Blackshere is a former President of the
Illinois AFL-CIO.

Edward M. Smith is a former Vice-President of
Laborers’ International Union of North America, Midwest
Region.

From the brief:

“Summary of Argument

Amici urge the Court to grant the writ on the first
question presented by Petitioner in order to address an
issue of national importance. Although amici take no
position on Mr. Blagojevich’s innocence or guilt on any
of the counts of conviction, they submit that this Court’s
guidance is needed to distinguish the lawful solicitation of
campaign contributions from criminal violations of federal
extortion, bribery, and fraud laws. In McCormick v. United
States, the Court acknowledged that—given the system
of private political campaign financing that has existed in
the United States since the nation’s inception—political
candidates and incumbents alike cannot realistically avoid
soliciting campaign funds from the very constituents whose
interests they may later advance through the support of
specific legislation or other official acts. 500 U.S. 257, 272
(1991). As a result, McCormick held that extortion based
on soliciting campaign contributions requires a quid pro
quo in the form of an “explicit promise or undertaking”
by a public official to perform or not perform an official
act. However, the Court’s subsequent decision in Evans v.
United States, 504 U.S. 255 (1992), has blurred the relative
clarity of McCormick’s holding.

Circuit courts have since struggled to determine
whether and how Evans modified McCormick’s holding
regarding extortion under color of official right, bribery,
and fraud in the solicitation of campaign contributions.2
Confusion in the lower courts is problematic for lawabiding
politicians and donors who wish to avoid prohibited
conduct and threatens to discourage candidates and
their supporters from legitimate campaign solicitation
and donation activities. It is particularly important in
the campaign contribution context—where contributors
generally assume that the supported candidate’s election
will benefit the contributor’s interests—that brightline
standards exist to guide prosecutors and juries to
avoid selective enforcement against unpopular political
candidates or donors. In addition, the Circuit Courts are
split on whether Evans applies to campaign contributions,
and this Court’s guidance is needed to restore national
uniformity to this area of the law.

Amici respectfully submit that it is important to
the effective operation of the nation’s political system
that the Court clarify the legal standard to distinguish
between the necessary, legitimate solicitation of
campaign contributions, on the one hand, and unlawful
extortion, bribery, and fraud, on the other. The Court’s
consideration of this issue is needed to guide individual
political candidates and donors who wish to confidently
and lawfully engage in campaign financing activities.”

http://electionlawblog.org/wp-content/uploads/Blagojevich_Amicus_Brief.pdf

Blagojevich update US Supreme Court appeal, December 19, 2015, Order extending time to file response to petition to and including January 20, 2016, Not denied yet significant?

Blagojevich update US Supreme Court appeal, December 19, 2015, Order extending time to file response to petition to and including January 20, 2016, Not denied yet significant?

Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

“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

 

Rod Blagojevich attorney Len Goodman filed an appeal, petition for a writ of certiorari, with the US Supreme Court on November 17, 2015.

The SCOTUS then had a response indicated by December 21, 2015.

No. 15-664
Title:
Rod Blagojevich, Petitioner
v.
United States
Docketed: November 19, 2015
Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  Case Nos.: (11-3853)
  Decision Date: July 21, 2015
  Rehearing Denied: August 19, 2015

 

~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nov 17 2015 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due December 21, 2015)

This response has been extended to January 20, 2016.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docketfiles/15-664.htm

The Blagojevich appeal has not been denied yet.

Is this significant?

Here are some cases that have been denied.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/121415zor_8n59.pdf

 

Rod Blagojevich SCOTUS appeal, US Supreme Court petition for a writ of certiorari, Attorney Len Goodman

Rod Blagojevich SCOTUS appeal, US Supreme Court petition for a writ of certiorari, Attorney Len Goodman

Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

“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

 

 

From the Associated Press.

 

“Imprisoned ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to hear an appeal of his corruption convictions that included his attempt to sell an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat.

The court is more likely to accept cases that raise weighty and divisive legal issues, and the 83-page filing stated one such issue is questions of where the line is between the legal and illegal trading of political favors. It asks the court to clarify “what is the standard for distinguishing lawful attempts to obtain campaign contributions from criminal violations.”

The Supreme Court hears only around 80 cases a year, out of more than 10,000 requests. A decision on whether it will take on Blagojevich’s case should be made within the next few months. Blagojevich is serving a 14-year prison sentence in Colorado. A lower court tossed five of his 18 convictions in July, and he’s now asking the Supreme Court to toss the rest. An appeal to the high court is a last slim hope for Blagojevich.

One of his defense attorneys, Leonard Goodman, said earlier this year that the Supreme Court might agree to look at an issue that caused disagreement at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: That in each case of alleged corruption, Blagojevich was participating in legal, run-of-the-mill politicking.

Allowing all the convictions to stand, Goodman said, “puts every public official who must raise campaign funds to stay in office and to be effective at the mercy of an ambitious or politically motivated federal prosecutor.”

A focus of the July ruling by the 7th Circuit striking five of Blagojevich’s conviction was the question of when an official crosses the line into illegal political wheeling and dealing.”

Read more:

Blagojevich SCOTUS appeal: