Tag Archives: Attorney Len Goodman

Rod Blagojevich reply brief to Solicitor General brief in opposition, March 10, 2016, Attorney Len Goodman, Draw the line between lawful political activity and crimes, Delaying review unwarranted given that Blagojevich will remain imprisoned during the delay

Rod Blagojevich reply brief to Solicitor General brief in opposition, March 10, 2016, Attorney Len Goodman, Draw the line between lawful political activity and crimes, Delaying review unwarranted given that Blagojevich will remain imprisoned during the delay

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, PETITIONER
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
_______________________
ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI
TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT
________________________
REPLY BRIEF FOR THE PETITIONER

“REPLY BRIEF FOR THE PETITIONER

1. This case is, and has been from the start, fundamentally about where to draw the line between lawful political activity and crimes of extortion, bribery and honest services fraud. That is an important issue of bipartisan concern, directly impacting all candidates seeking or holding public office and their supporters, and one which this Court recently agreed to review in McDonnell v. United States, No. 15-474 (certiorari granted Jan. 15, 2016). Blagojevich’s case is particularly important because it involves only the solicitation or attempt to obtain campaign contributions, which this Court has held are a form of protected political speech that warrants heightened scrutiny. Indeed, regardless of one’s views about money in politics, a bright-line rule distinguishing lawful campaign fundraising activities from unlawful political corruption is necessary to avert a chilling effect on candidates’ First Amendment right to solicit (and receive) campaign contributions, and donors’ First Amendment right to respond with contributions. Clarity about where to draw that line is also essential to avoiding arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement against politicians who are outspoken, controversial, polarizing or simply unpopular. It is an issue that impacts our longstanding system of private financing of election campaigns from President of the United States to local alderman, and one that the lower courts have struggled with consistently since Evans v. United States, 504 U.S. 255 (1992).”

“2. The government’s opposition does not dispute that the lower courts have expressed confusion—and signaled the need for further clarity and guidance from this Court—regarding what effect Evans had on McCormick v. United States, 500 U.S. 257 (1991), in the context of public corruption prosecutions involving the solicitation of campaign contributions. To the contrary, the government’s attempt to minimize the degree of conflict among the circuit courts on this issue (Opp. 18-21) proves the essence of Blagojevich’s petition: that the lower courts have acknowledged a significant lack of clarity regarding whether Evans modified or relaxed McCormick’s “explicit promise or undertaking” requirement to prove public corruption offenses involving campaign contributions; that the confusion arises in part from uncertainty regarding whether this Court’s holding in Evans was meant to weaken the requirement for proving extortion involving campaign contributions; and that the circuits have expressed particular confusion about what McCormick’s requirement that a quid pro quo be “explicit” means in light of Evans. The government also concedes (Opp. 20) that since Evans some courts of appeals have (appropriately) recognized the distinction between public corruption cases involving campaign contributions and those involving other payments, and have indicated or suggested that extortion cases involving campaign contributions require heightened proof of an “explicit” agreement under McCormick. ”

Read more:

Click to access Blagojevich-v-United-States-cert-reply-FINAL-March-8-2016.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:

Blagojevich appeal filed July 15, 2013, Attorney Len Goodman, Lauren Kaeseberg, Judge James Zagel barred FBI wiretap evidence, Juror bias, Why was appeal delayed?

Blagojevich appeal filed July 15, 2013, Attorney Len Goodman, Lauren Kaeseberg, Judge James Zagel barred FBI wiretap evidence, Juror bias, Why was appeal delayed?

“Why did Judge James Zagel allow only 2 percent of the Blagojevich wiretaps to be released?”…Citizen Wells

“I can tell you that, based on court rules and procedures, Judge James Zagel carries some of the blame for the delay in the transcripts.

The question is, what was Judge Zagel’s motivation?”…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

From The Oakland Press July 16, 2013.

“Blagojevich appeals convictions, stiff sentence”

“Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich filed an appeal Monday challenging the imprisoned former Illinois governor’s corruption conviction and stiff, 14-year prison term.

The lengthy filing with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago comes more than two years after the Chicago Democrat’s retrial and 16 months after he entered a federal prison in Colorado.

Jurors convicted Blagojevich, 56, of engaging in wide-ranging corruption, including that the two-term governor sought to profit from his power to appoint someone to the U.S. Senate seat that Barack Obama vacated to become president.

The appeal cites a juror who allegedly expressed a bias against Blagojevich who was seated despite the objections of defense attorneys. It also raises longstanding claims that Judge James Zagel barred FBI wiretap evidence that might have aided the defense and argues the judge miscalculated the appropriate prison term.

The appeal was filed about 30 minutes before a midnight deadline to do so.

In June, Blagojevich’s attorneys requested permission to file a longer-than-usual appeal, noting the trial produced 12,000 pages of transcripts. “The issues for appeal are numerous and complicated,” they wrote. The court agreed to let them file the equivalent of about 100 pages, which is what they did.

Blagojevich was convicted on 18 counts over two trials, jurors in the first deadlocking on all but one count. Taking the stand in the second, decisive trial in 2011, Blagojevich insisted his talking about wanting to sell Obama’s seat was just that — talk.

At his sentencing hearing later in 2011, an uncharacteristically deferential Blagojevich asked Zagel for mercy and said he accepted responsibility. He told the court in a hushed voice, “I caused it all.”

Despite those words, Zagel imposed a lengthy prison term, telling Blagojevich he had abused voters’ trust and undermined the democratic process “to do things that were only good for yourself.”

Many observers at the time said Blagojevich’s best hope on appeal wasn’t that a higher court would overturn his convictions but that appellate judges would agree his sentence was too harsh.”

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2013/07/16/news/doc51e4d91045f9d865437288.txt?viewmode=fullstory

The appeal.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/154180774/Blagojevich-Appeal