Obama protected by Rezko prosecutors, Prosecutor notes reveal intent, Judge Amy St. Eve allowed, Why were Obama and David Wilhelm protected?
“Why did the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee, with Obama as chairman, create and push Bill 1332, “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” early in 2003, which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, just prior to rigging by Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“Why did Daniel Frawley provide $ 400,000 for Tony Rezko to give to Obama?”…Citizen Wells
“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich
Before I continue with corruption in Chicago involving Barack Obama and David Wihelm and asking why they were not indicted, it is appropriate to visit news from June 27, 2008. The Chicago SunTimes reported that newly unsealed documents revealed that prosecutors in the Tony Rezko trial were considering calling witnesses that would implicate Obama in Rezko’s corruption activities.
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However, Natasha Korecki of the SunTimes presented a recap on June 26, 2008.
“Obama’s Rezko ties kept under seal
In January, the Sun-Times reported that a portion of the Tony Rezko case led to Barack Obama’s campaign fund. Obama isn’t accused of doing anything wrong. But Rezko allegedly used straw donors to kick into Obama’s campaign fund during his run for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
While none of that came out at trial, today, for the first time, a filing recently unsealed shows the government’s initial intent to call witnesses about that aspect of the case. The judge in the case, Amy St. Eve, ruled that the prosecution could bring up Obama’s name. But they never did. And references to Obama were not only kept out of the trial during his run for the primary — it was kept under seal. Until today.
The filing indicates that the prosecution wanted witnesses to talk about Rezko’s prowess as an Obama fund-raiser and his influence in getting two others — Joseph Aramanda and Semir Sirazi — to donate Rezko money to Obama’s campaigns in their names. The money kicked into Obama’s campaigns came from an illicit kickback scheme. Obama has since donated that money to charity.”
Larry Johnson of No Quarter USA provides some insight.
“Recently Unsealed Court Documents Confirm Obama Heavily Embroiled in Rezko Case”
“According to today’s edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, “Barack Obama’s name could have been invoked more at the corruption trial of his former fund-raiser Tony Rezko.” But prosecutors instead chose to focus on the first target of Fitzgerald’s probe: convicted slumlord and notorious Chicago political fixer Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the man who helped Obama purchase his Kenwood mansion in 2005.
The prosecutors’ decision to refrain from discussing Obama’s deep imbrication in the Rezko scandal during the trial does not exonerate the Senator from Illinois, however. I quote US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who issued the following admonition in the wake of Rezko’s conviction:
U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said the verdict represented “an antidote to the poison of corruption” that trial testimony alleged included the fixing of state boards that controlled a $40 billion pension fund and made major decisions about million-dollar hospital construction. He expressed hope it would have an effect on Illinois politicians. “If morals don’t get to them, I hope the fear of going to jail does,” Fitzgerald told reporters.
Fitzgerald and the prosecutors are particularly concerned with Obama’s acceptance of “straw” campaign contributions others made on Rezko’s behalf. I quote the Sun-Times:
The Illinois senator was the recipient of “straw” campaign contributions made by others on behalf of Rezko — money that Obama has since given to charities.
The documents indicate that prosecutors considered offering witnesses to explore why Rezko used others to contribute to Obama and also to Blagojevich, and U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve ruled that they could.But they did not end up offering any such testimony during the trial.
“Witnesses will testify that Rezko was a long-standing supporter and fund-raiser of Barack Obama,” prosecutors wrote.
One contribution with which prosecutors are concerned is the donation Joseph Aramanda, an associate of Rezko who is also known as “Individual D” in the superseding indictment Fitzgerald’s prosecutors filed, submitted to Obama in 2004. A Chicago Sun-Times article dated 24 December 2007 summarizes the situation quite succinctly:
Aramanda is identified as “Individual D” in Rezko’s indictment. And when Levine pleaded guilty in October, Aramanda again was listed as “Individual D.”
Aramanda was identified by the Sun-Times as “Individual D,” who allegedly received a $250,000 kickback tied to a scheme to steer lucrative state pension deals to firms and consultants that donated to Blagojevich. Aramanda is not specifically named or charged with criminal wrongdoing in the court papers. He did not return a call seeking comment Saturday.
Aramanda’s son, by the way, was rewarded an internship in Obama’s Senate office in Washington, DC, at the behest of Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Why do the words quid pro quo come to mind unbidden?
Because the evidence the prosecutors presented regarding Obama’s involvement with Rezko and Aramanda is so compelling, Judge St. Eve ruled it was appropriate for prosecutors to invoke the name of Barack Obama during the Rezko trial. All this prompts a few questions:
- Do the prosecutors involved in Operation Board Games intend to broach other aspects of Obama’s deep and problematic entanglements with Antoin “Tony” Rezko?
- Will this scandal resurface after the Democratic Convention in August?
- Is Rezko the first of many corrupt Chicago machine dominoes to fall?
- Are Presidential candidates usually embroiled in fraudulent schemes involving investment firms, the Illinois Teachers’ Pension Fund and questionable campaign contributions?
No Quarter promises to alert readers to any and all developments involing Patrick Fitzgerald, Barack Obama and the unscrupulous Antoin “Tony” Rezko.”