Stuart Levine sentencing June 28, 2011, Rezko Blagojevich Obama crony, Levine among most valuable witnesses in 3 decades, Blagojevich arrest delayed
“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald, instead of protecting the citizens of Illinois as he has touted, prosecute Tony Rezko first, a businessman, instead of Rod Blagojevich, the governor of Illinois.”…Citizen Wells
“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“At Rod Blagojevich’s December sentencing Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar called Levine one of the most significant cooperators the Dirksen Federal Courthouse had ever seen.”…Natasha Korecki, Chicago SunTimes
Stuart Levine, corruption buddy of Tony Rezko, Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama is finally being sentenced on Thursday, June 28, 2012.
Thursday, June 28, 2012 (As of 06/22/12 at 01:48:43 PM)
Honorable Amy J. St. Eve Courtroom 1241 (ASE)
1:05-cr-00691 USA v. Levine 10:00 Sentencing
From the Chicago Tribune June 16, 2012.
“Prosecutors: Levine among ‘most valuable’ witnesses in 3 decades”
“Prosecutors called their key witness against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and two top advisers “one of the most valuable cooperators” in three decades of public-corruption prosecutions in a late-Friday filing arguing for a light sentence.
Stuart Levine could have faced life in prison under federal sentencing guidelines but prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of 5 years and 7 months in exchange for Levine’s cooperation. Friday’s filing comes after U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve, during a hearing in April, asked for a “lengthy recitation of Levine’s cooperation.”
Levine didn’t testify against Blagojevich, but prosecutors noted “the case against Blagojevich was made possible only by Levine’s cooperation.”
“The government not only used information provided initially by Levine in the case against Blagojevich, it was Levine’s decision to cooperate that set in motion the series of events that led directly to the government obtaining the evidence and witnesses it needed to prosecute Blagojevich,” prosecutors wrote.
Friday’s filing, in advance of Levine’s June 28 sentencing, recognizes both Levine’s cooperation and his extensive criminal history.
Levine testified against former Blagojevich fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who is now in federal prison, and was the star witness against Springfield power broker, William Cellini, who is awaiting sentencing. During his testimony at Cellini’s trial, Levine described in detail the million-dollar bribes he tried to orchestrate and told of his extensive drug use and cocaine parties he attended.
“Levine’s cooperation has proven to be every bit as important as the government hoped it would be. As a result of (his) assistance, the government charged and convicted people of extremely serious crimes who otherwise would not have been caught.””
Federal prosecutors have lauded Stuart Levine as a great, cooperative witness. Why then did they not prosecute Blagojevich first to protect the citizens of Illinois and then wait until after the 2008 election to arrest him?
Couple the value given to Levine by the prosecutors with the timeline. There is only one logical conclusion to come to. The prosecution of Rod Blagojevich was delayed to protect Barack Obama.
From Citizen Wells December 10, 2011.
“2006 is the pivotal turning point.
1. Blagojevich and his corruption buddies are in trouble.
2. Blagojevich, the presumptive presidential candidate, is out and Obama, the unknown, is in. So is the fix.
Rod Blagojevich was elected governor of Illinois in 2002.
From the Blagojevich Criminal Complaint.
“Since approximately 2003, the government has been investigating allegations
of illegal activity occurring in State of Illinois government as part of the administration of Governor ROD BLAGOJEVICH. As further detailed below, the investigation has developed evidence that: (a) beginning not later than in or about 2002, ROD BLAGOJEVICH has conspired with multiple individuals”
From the Washington Post December 22, 2008.
“The wide-ranging public corruption probe that led to the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich got its first big break when a grandmother of six walked into a breakfast meeting with shakedown artists wearing an FBI wire.
Pamela Meyer Davis had been trying to win approval from a state health planning board for an expansion of Edward Hospital, the facility she runs in a Chicago suburb, but she realized that the only way to prevail was to retain a politically connected construction company and a specific investment house. Instead of succumbing to those demands, she went to the FBI and U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald in late 2003 and agreed to secretly record conversations about the project.
Her tapes led investigators down a twisted path of corruption that over five years has ensnared a collection of behind-the-scenes figures in Illinois government, including Joseph Cari Jr., a former Democratic National Committee member, and disgraced businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko.”
The following events leading up to 2006 are damning!
June 7, 2004: Stuart Levine, a longtime Republican reappointed to the powerful Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, abruptly resigns on the eve of several important hospital expansion votes. The revelation is the first indication that the Blagojevich administration is under federal criminal investigation.
June 27, 2004: The Tribune discloses that an official for one hospital seeking permission to expand was wearing a federal bug during meetings in an effort to expose extortion attempts by Levine and others for contributions to Blagojevich.
July 2, 2004: Levine resigns from his seat on the board of the state Teachers’ Retirement System. It remains undisclosed that federal authorities had secretly taped Levine’s conversations.
May 9, 2005: Levine is indicted on corruption charges. Federal subpoenas are issued to numerous administration sources, including top Blagojevich fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko
May 20, 2005: The governor’s office acknowledges to the Tribune that Rezko has an ongoing eight-year professional relationship with Patricia Blagojevich’s home-based real estate brokerage, River Realty Inc.
Sept 15, 2005: Prominent Democratic fundraiser Joseph Cari and a former lawyer for the state’s teacher’s pension board pleads guilty in an extortion scheme that steered state pension business to favored companies in exchange for campaign contributions to a high-ranking public official described in court documents only as “Public official A.”
Oct. 25, 2005: The Tribune discloses a federal grand jury investigation into the alleged political hiring practices of the Blagojevich administration, including the governor’s top hiring aide, Joseph Cini.
Aug. 5, 2006: The Tribune reports that Levine is cooperating with the federal investigation of state government.
Sept. 10, 2006: The Tribune reveals that the FBI is investigating allegations by a one-time Blagojevich family friend that she had concerns her state job may have come in return for a $1,500 personal check her husband wrote to one of Blagojevich’s children.
Sept. 17, 2006: The Tribune reports that the Blagojevich administration skirted state hiring rules to give jobs to at least 360 people whose applications were sent through back channels by the governor’s offices and politically connected officials.
Oct. 11, 2006: Blagojevich confidant and top fundraiser Rezko is indicted on federal charges he sought millions of dollars in kickbacks and campaign donations from firms seeking state business.
Oct. 27, 2006: Political insider Levine pleads guilty in a scheme to squeeze millions of dollars from firms seeking state business. In court papers, federal authorities spell out allegations that Rezko and another schemer, identified by sources as Blagojevich confidant and top fundraiser Christopher Kelly, were using their influence for corrupt purposes.
Oct. 27, 2006: The Tribune reveals that Blagojevich’s wife, Patricia, earned more than $113,000 in real estate commissions in 2006 through a woman with a no-bid state contract whose banker husband–a major Blagojevich fundraiser–has business pending before state regulators. Both the FBI and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office begin investigations.”
Next examine what else happens in 2006.
“Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has always been rumored to be interested in higher office. A single entry in a campaign-finance report he filed this week could add fuel to the speculation.
Blagojevich paid $7,500 in December to one of the top Democratic political strategists in Iowa, where contacts are important for anyone with presidential aspirations.”
“In the Summer of 2006, then-U.S. Sen. Obama backed Blagojevich even though there were serious questions at the time about Blago’s hiring practices.
At the time, numerous state agencies had had records subpoenaed, with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald telling authorities he was looking into “very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud” with a “number of credible witnesses.”
In an interview with the Chicago Daily Herald in July 2006, then-Sen. Obama said, “I have not followed closely enough what’s been taking place in these investigations to comment on them. Obviously I’m concerned about reports that hiring practices at the state weren’t, at times, following appropriate procedures. How high up that went, the degree at which the governor was involved, is not something I’m going to speculate on.
“If I received information that made me believe that any Democrat had not been acting in the public interest, I’d be concerned,” Obama said.
That said, Mr. Obama said, “If the governor asks me to work on his behalf, I’ll be happy to do it.”
Apparently the governor did. At the Illinois State Fair in August 2006, Obama spoke on Blagojevich’s behalf.
“We’ve got a governor in Rod Blagojevich who has delivered consistently on behalf of the people of Illinois,” Obama told the crowd.
In January 2007, Blagojevich’s office reserved the Old State Capitol for Mr. Obama’s presidential announcement at Obama’s request.”
Instead of protecting the citizens of Illinois as he has touted, Patrick Fitzgerald prosecuted Rezko, a businessman, instead of Blagojevich, the governor of Illinois.
From Patrick Fitzgerald’s Government Sentencing Memorandum.
“Antoin Rezko, …recently received a sentence of 126 months’ imprisonment for corrupt activity that he engaged in directly with Blagojevich or with lagojevich’s tacit approval. Yet, Rezko: (a) held no elected office of trust;”
By prosecuting Rezko first and not calling him as a witness, they kept him incarcerated with no ability to rat on Obama.
They delayed the arrest of Blagojevich until after the 2008 election.
The prosecution botched the first Blagojevich trial and did not call Rezko as a witness.
Counts 1,2 and 4, the ones with the oldest corruption activity and the strongest ties to Obama, were dropped. The alleged excuse was to streamline and simplify the case. Of course if Blagojevich had been arrested by 2007 that would not have happened and Obama would not have been elected.
The second Blagojevich trial also did not call Rezko as a witness. This added to the delays. Blagojevich has just been sentenced.
The day of Blagojevich’s sentencing, we learn that Tony Rezko has filed an appeal. A Blagojevich appeal is sure to follow.
The Blagojevich and Rezko appeal process will go late into or past the 2012 election cycle. Once again protecting Obama.
This is simple enough even for a fifth grader, maybe even a congressman to follow.”
Thanks to commenter Rebel Mope.