US Justice Department corruption in Blagojevich trial, Real Blagojevich trial news, Citizen Wells open thread, July 20, 2010
US Justice Department corruption in Blagojevich trial, Real Blagojevich trial news
I was rereading a US Justice Department document yesterday, the Press Release dated April 2, 2009, that announced the Superceding Indictment of Blagojevich. I encountered a section that caught my attention as I read it with a new perspective. To me it appears a bit Orwellian, an attempt to rewrite history. I am asking for Zach, legal eagles and other astute observers to read this section and compare it to what was in the Criminal Complaint and what the US Justice Dept. knew much earlier. Give me your take on it.
From the Press release.
“The indictment adds several new allegations to those that were lodged in the criminal complaint filed in December when Blagojevich and Harris were arrested. It includes the previous factual allegations that Blagojevich conspired to sell or trade Illinois’ U.S. Senate seat formerly held by President Obama; threatened to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical of Blagojevich; and schemed to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions – both historically and in a push late last year before a new state ethics law took effect.
Among the new factual allegations are that:
- beginning in 2002 and continuing after Blagojevich was first elected
governor, Blagojevich and Monk, along with Kelly and previously convicted
co-schemer Antoin “Tony” Rezko, agreed that they would use the offices of
governor and chief of staff for financial gain, which would be divided among
them with the understanding that the money would be distributed after
Blagojevich left public office;
- in 2003, Blagojevich, Monk, Kelly, Rezko and other co-schemers
implemented this agreement by directing lucrative state business relating to
the refinancing of billions of dollars in State of Illinois Pension Obligation
Bonds to a company whose lobbyist agreed to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to Rezko out of the fee the lobbyist would collect, and Rezko in turn agreed to split the money with Blagojevich, Monk and Kelly;
- After it became public that Kelly and Rezko were under investigation and ceased playing a significant role in raising campaign funds, Blagojevich personally continued to trade his actions as governor for personal benefits, including, for example, delaying a state grant to a publicly-supported school while trying to leverage a U.S. Congressman, who supported the school, or the Congressman’s brother, to hold a campaign fundraiser for Blagojevich; and
- in an interview on March 16, 2005, Blagojevich lied to FBI agents when he said that he maintains a separation, or firewall, between politics and state business; and he does not track, or want to know, who contributes to him or how much they are contributing to him.
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