(4-30) Motion denied
April 27, 2010
Yes, Rod Blagojevich wants to subpoena barry. His lawyers filed such a motion on April 22.
Yes, barry lied about how much money Rezko gave him until he was forced to admit it in March 2008 – all the while proclaiming himself to be Mr Transparency with Superior Judgment.
Yes, some of the money barry received from Rezko was derived from the scam Rezko was found guilty of. (See below) Money that was donated to charity once barry’s name showed up on the indictment.
Yes, Rezko was the middleman who connects barry, Blago, Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, Michelle Obama, Davis Axelrod, Bill Ayers and on and on and on.
He was barry’s first fundraiser as well as the director of corruption finance between Illinois politicians and Arab money. Like, as a random example, the Bridgeview Mosque and Gaza brothers buying $33K worth of t-shirts.
So, where is Rezko now?
He allegedly remains in federal custody (US Marshals – think witness protection program) but not anywhere he should be. Federal Bureau of Prisons database 1982-present shows nothing.
He was moved from Metropolitan Correctional Center, which is basically down the street from the Dirksen Federal Courthouse where he would presumably be testifying against Blago, to an unknown location.
Quick timeline for you.
Rezko’s trial began in March 2008.
In April, he successfully petitioned the judge to be released on bail. ($8.5M)
Part of his letter to US District Judge Amy St. Eve:
Your Honor, the prosecutors have been overzealous in pursuing a crime that never happened. They are pressuring me to tell them the “wrong” things that I supposedly know about Governor Blagojevich and Senator Obama. I have never been party to any wrongdoing that involved the Governor or the Senator. I will never fabricate lies about anyone else for selfish purposes. I will take what comes my way, but I will never hurt innocent people. I am not Levine, Loren, Mahru, or Winter. I am simply an honest, humble immigrant who believes in the American dream.
A letter that makes clear he was not interested in cooperating.
Things changed though after he was found guilty in June. He asked to begin his time immediately – before he was sentenced – which was initially scheduled for September. Recall barry was still running for president.
In August, it was first reported Rezko was cooperating with the Feds re: Blago. He was kept in solitary while he talked (or wasn’t talking) and voila his sentencing date was pushed past election day.
Late November, Rezko’s attorney asked that his client be sentenced. Feds responded by arresting Blago even though nothing had been exchanged for barry’s seat.
They watch him for years and tape him for months and right when he’s about to act they arrest him?
Blago’s sin was the trashing Bank of America on national TV the day before his Dec 9th arrest.
A week later Rezko’s sentencing was suspended indefinitely and he was moved out of MCC to places unknown. Technically he can be “in federal custody” and not be incarcerated.
Think about the variety of folks who would want to make sure Rezko stopped talking: First and foremost, barry. Then there’s Blago, Alexi Giannoulias, Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Michelle Obama, Illinois politicians, Arab donors and the garden variety inmate looking to make a name for himself.
What is also odd about Rezko is he still has outstanding charges that have not been advanced since his trial. He has charges pending here on his pizza business scam and in Las Vegas where he wrote $450K worth of bad checks drawn on his account at Alexi Giannoulias’ family bank – Broadway Bank – which just changed hands.
The mystery of Blago’s motion is how it was released – the redacted portions were easily unredactable and what was revealed was rather interesting.
Here is the Chicago Tribune copy. As of just now, the redacted portions are still visible. The first footnote of the motion said the portions redacted were in compliance with the April 2009 Protective Order. Blago’s lawyers asked the Court to unseal the entire motion and they got their wish.
Motion suggests that Rezko has not been truthful and perhaps has opened up about his relationship with barry.
22. However, the defense has a good faith belief that Mr. Rezko, President Obama’s former friend, fund-raiser, and neighbor told the FBI and the United States Attorneys a different story about President Obama. In a recent in camera proceeding, the government tendered a three paragraph letter indicating that Rezko “has stated in interviews with the government that he engaged in election law violations by personally contributing a large sum of cash to the campaign of a public official who is not Rod Blagojevich. … Further, the public official denies being aware of cash contributions to his campaign by Rezko or others and denies having conversations with Rezko related to cash contributions. … Rezko has also stated in interviews with the government that he believed he transmitted a quid pro quo offer from a lobbyist to the public official, whereby the lobbyist would hold a fundraiser for the official in exchange for favorable official action, but that the public official rejected the offer. The public official denies any such conversation.
In addition, Rezko has stated to the government that he and the public official had certain conversations about gaming legislation and administration, which the public official denies having had. 
Referring to the proposed casino in Rosemont. Which brings in another curious player: Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder. Nice and tidy, innit?
 The defense has a good faith belief that this public official is Barack Obama. See, “Obama on Rezko deal: It was a mistake”, Dave McKinney, Chris Fusco, and Mark Brown, Chicago Sun Times, November 5, 2006. Senator Barack Obama was asked: “Did Rezko or his companies ever solicit your support on any matter involving state or federal government? Did Al Johnson, who was trying to get a casino license along with Tony Rezko, or Rezko himself ever discuss casino matters with you?” Senator Obama answered: “No, I have never been asked to do anything to advance his business interest. In 1999, when I was a State Senator, I opposed legislation to bring a casino to Rosemont and allow casino gambling at docked riverboats which news reports said Al Johnson and Tony Rezko were interested in being part of. I never discussed a casino license with either of them. I was a vocal opponent of the legislation.” Obama’s involvement with Tony Rezko and this legislation coincides with the three paragraph summary the government has provided to the defense referenced above.
As for Holder?
This photo was taken at March 24, 2004 news conference in which Gov Blagojevich announced Holder’s role as “special investigator to the Illinois Gaming Board”.
Briefly. Blago (long suspected of having ties to organized gambling) wanted to get things straightened out as far as a potential casino in Rosemont. The Gaming Board had voted in favor of the casino despite their own staff’s recommendation against it. The late Christopher Kelly was going to be the official state negotiator and his business partner – Tony Rezko – held an option to lease a hotel site next to the proposed casino site.
But things didn’t pan out – the board took it’s own recommendations, refused to hire Holder, and in May 2004 Blago called off the probe.
Why is this important?
Besides being another link involving Rezko, blago and barry – Holder never mentioned his involvement with Blago in his 47-page response to the Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire. Which he happened to sign 5 days after blago was arrested.
Also revealed in the Motion:
-barry was interrogated for 2 hours.
-December 2009, Blago’s lawyers asked for copies of the interview and have yet to receive anything.
-barry allegedly spoke directly with Blago. Which was then talked about by two other people, whose conversation was taped.
The day of Blago’s arrest, barry was asked if he had talked to Blago. barry said no.
What do you think Al Gore was muttering?
BARRY: I had no contact with the governor, uh, or his office, uh, and so we were not, uh I-I-I was not aware of uh, what was happening.
Of course it was a lie – proven as such by David Axelrod on FOX. Attempts were made to spin it like everything else but Axelrod’s admission was made on November 23, 2008. Before blago was arrested and before they became aware aware all of Blago’s conversations were being taped.
Dec 11 press conference, barry was a little more prepared.
In terms of our involvement, I’ll repeat what I said earlier, which is
I had no contact with the governor’s office.
I did not speak to the governor about these issues.
That I know for certain.
What I want to do is to gather all the facts about any staff contacts that I might — may have — that may have taken place between the transition office and the governor’s office. And we’ll have those in the next few days, and we’ll present them.
But what I’m absolutely certain about is that our office had no involvement in any deal-making around my Senate seat.
That I’m absolutely certain of.
And the — that is — that would be a violation of everything that this campaign has been about. And that’s not how we do business.
He could get away with that before the healthcare deals.
This comment has a little different meaning than it had back then.
BARRY: All I can do is read what was in the transcripts, like the rest of you have read it, and shake my head.
So why does any of that matter?
At least one third party (very close to barry) contradicts barry’s statements. One of the reasons Blago wants all the tapes played in court.
The case against Blago is too complicated to get into – but it is alleged that a “labor official” acted as an emissary to relay barry’s pick for his seat – Valerie Jarrett aka “Sen Candidate B” (original complaint “Senate Candidate 1”) – to Blago.
[Emphasis added throughtout]
9. Yet, despite President Obama stating that no representatives of his had any part of any deals, labor union president told the FBI and the United States Attorneys that he spoke to labor union official on November 3, 2008 who received a phone message from Obama that evening. After labor union official listened to the message labor union official told labor union president “I’m the one”. Labor union president took that to mean that labor union official was to be the one to deliver the message on behalf of Obama that Senate Candidate B was his pick. (Labor union president 302, February 2, 2009, p. 7).
10. Labor union official told the FBI and the United States Attorneys “Obama expressed his belief that [Senate Candidate B] would be a good Senator for the people of Illinois and would be a candidate who could win re-election. [Labor union official] advised Obama that [labor union official] would reach out to Governor Blagojevich and advocate for [Senate Candidate B].. . . [Labor union official] called [labor union president] and told [labor union president] that Obama was aware that [labor union official] would be reaching out to Blagojevich.” (Labor union official 302, February 3, 2009 p. 3).
And who is that “labor official president”?
Most assuredly, ANDY STERN.
And he is?
President of the SEIU, which raised upwards of $60M to get barry elected, behind the scenes negotiator on healthcare bill, staunch supporter of Health Care for America NOW! and member of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
Does this partyline sound familiar?
Naked Emperor News 1
And Stern was barry’s most frequent WH visitor – 22 times in first 6 months – confirmed to have met directly with barry 7 times.
What were they discussing?
This among other things.
WIKI: On January 27, 2009, SEIU placed UHW West under trusteeship and dismissed 70 of the local’s executives, including president Sal Rosselli. Rosselli and other ousted leaders reformed under the National Union of Healthcare Workers and pushed for UHW West members at 60 facilities to vote to decertify SEIU. As of March 22, 2009, a total of 91,000 UHW West members (a majority of UHW West members) signed decertification petitions to leave SEIU and join NUHW. Stern and SEIU filed a lawsuit in mid-2009 alleging that UHW West and NUHW officials embezzled millions of dollars. The lawsuit ended on April 9, 2010 with a small award for SEIU, smaller than their legal costs.
And 4 days later, April 13th, Stern announced his retirement.
But what’s most important is Stern was founder of “Change to Win,” which featured prominently in the alleged senate seat negotiations.
In the original complaint, Valerie Jarrett was “Senate Candidate 1”.
Pay to play president-elect style.
[Original complaint. 99. Page 60. Nov 7, 2008 phone call: Blago, Harris, Advisor B (Emanuel?)]
During the call ROD BLAGOJEVICH, HARRIS and Advisor B discussed the prospect of working a three-way deal for the open Senate seat. HARRIS noted that ROD BLAGOJEVICH is interested in taking a high-paying position with an organization “Change to Win,” which is connected to Service Employees International Union (SEIU). HARRIS suggested that SEIU official make ROD BLAGOJEVICH the head of Change to Win, and in exchange, the President-elect could help Change to Win with it’s legislative agenda on a national level.
[Page 61] HARRIS said that Change to Win will want to change the job for ROD BLAGOJEVICH for something from the President-elect. HARRIS suggested a “three-way deal,” and explained that a three-way deal like the one discussed would give the President-elect a “buffer so there is no obvious quid pro quo for [Senate Candidate 1].”
[Page 61] Advisor B said they should leverage the President-elect’s desire to have Senate Candidate 1 appointed to the Senate seat in order to get a head position with Change to Win and a salary.
Until then, how about a position for the wife?
[100. Page 61. Nov 8 call: Blago & Harris]
Also, ROD BLAGOJEVICH wanted to know whether SEIU could do something to get his wife a position a position at Change to Win until ROD BLAGOJEVICH could take a position at Change to Win.
Blago as the National Director of the Change to Win campaign.
[101 c. Page 64. Nov 10 2-hour phone call: Blago, his wife, Harris, Gov Gen Counsel, Advisor B and various ‘Washignton-based advisors.]
HARRIS re-stated ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s thoughts that they should ask the President-elect for something for ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s financial security as well as maintain his political viability. HARRIS said they could work out a three-way deal with SEIU and the President-elect where SEIU could help the President-elect with ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s appointment of Senate Candidate 1 to the vacant Senate seat, ROD BLAGOJEVICH would obtain a position as the National Director of the Change to Win campaign, and SEIU would get something favorable from the President-elect in the future.
[Good article on Stern & why he was so pro-healthcare]
If you haven’t heard any of this from the barrymedia, you’re not alone. All you heard about those conversations was the foul language. Their bias in favor barry – trashing Blago instead of actually investigating- is going to be made patently obvious in this trial.
Politico’s BEN SMITH, on the day Blago was arrested, identified ANDY STERN as the labor official in Blago’s complaint. Wonder who the source was.
A Democratic source confirms that SEIU President Andy Stern is the “SEIU official” referred to in the federal complaint against Rod Blagojevich.
Smith included the Nov 12 phone call between Blago and “SEIU official,” which connects the dots between barry, Blago, Stern and Valerie Jarrett.
[109. Page 69]
Prior intercepted phone conversations indicate that approximately a week before this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH met with SEIU Official to discuss the vacant Senate seat, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH understood that SEIU Official was an emissary to discuss Senate Candidate 1’s interest in the Senate seat. During the conversation with SEIU Official on November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed SEIU Official that he had heard the President-elect wanted persons other than Senate Candidate 1 to be considered for the Senate seat. SEIU Official stated that he would find out if Senate Candidate 1 wanted SEIU Official to keep pushing her for Senator with ROD BLAGOJEVICH.
Another redacted portion of the Motion concerning Valerie Jarrett’s (Sen Candidate B) recollections.
11. According to Senate Candidate B, on November, 4 2008, Senate Candidate B spoke with labor union official about the Senate seat. Labor union official said he spoke to Obama. Labor union official said he was going to meet with Blagojevich and said “he was going to push Blagojevich hard on this. According to Senate Candidate B, labor union official’s language could have been stronger than the language that she was reporting to the government.” (Senate Candidate B 302, December 19, 2008).
Blago said the union official talked to barry:
12. On November 5, 2008, Blagojevich told John Harris that labor union official “talked to Barack Obama, wants to come and see me.” Blagojevich then told Harris that labor union official “was very explicit with me, “I talked to Barack about the Senate seat. Can I come and see ya? Can I do it tomorrow?’ I said, sure.” (Blagojevich Home Phone Call # 261).
Prosecutors stated publicly:
there’s no reference in the complaint to any conversations involving the president-elect or indicating that the president-elect was aware of it.
Which is an interesting way of putting it. The original complaint skips from November 13 phone calls to December 4.
Because barry talked directly to Blago on Dec 1.
17. President-elect Obama also spoke to Governor Blagojevich on December 1, 2008 in Philadelphia. On Harris Cell Phone Call # 139, John Harris and Governor’s legal counsel discuss a conversation Blagojevich had with President-elect Obama. The government claims a conspiracy existed from October 22, 2008 continuing through December 9, 2008.6 That conversation is relevant to the defense of the government’s theory of an ongoing conspiracy. Only Rod Blagojevich and President Obama can testify to the contents of that conversation. The defense is allowed to present evidence that corroborates the defendant’s testimony.7
And something that happened on Dec 7 and 8, just prior to Blago’s arrest.
19. President-elect Obama was also involved in other senate candidate choices. On December 8, 2008, John Harris’ secretary’s call log noted President’s Chief of Staff called at 10:47 am and wrote “needs to talk to you asap” (Harris 302, February 20, 2009). President’s Chief of Staff told the FBI that he had a conversation discussing the Senate seat with Obama on December 7, 2008 in Obama’s car. President’s Chief of Staff told the FBI “Obama expressed concern about Senate Candidate D being appointed as Senator. [President’s Chief of Staff] suggested they might need an expanded list to possibly include names of African Americans that came out of the business world. [President’s Chief of Staff] thought he suggested Senate Candidate E who was the head of the Urban League and with President’s Chief of Staff’s suggestion.” (President’s Chief of Staff, 302, 12-20-08).
How much did those conversations factor into the timing of Blago’s arrest?
Jarrett and the union official (Stern) – both of whom are sympathetic to barry – contradict his statements.
President Barack Obama has direct knowledge of the Senate seat allegation. President Obama’s testimony is relevant to three fundamental issues of that allegation.
First, President Obama contradicts the testimony of an important government witness.
Second, President Obama’s testimony is relevant to the necessary element of intent of the defendant.
Third, President Obama is the only one who can say if emissaries were sent on his behalf, who those emissaries were, and what, if anything, those emissaries were instructed to do on his behalf.
All of these issues are relevant and necessary for the defense of Rod Blagojevich.
There’s no reason barry can’t testify. Executive Privilege (requires Holder’s permission) doesn’t cover what happened prior to Inauguration. And even though there’s no doubt about the relevance of his testimony, it’s not going to happen. Once he raises his right hand, he won’t have Gibbs or the barrymedia or the DOJ running interference for him.
Who knew Blago would be the birthers’ best bet at nabbing barry?