Thomas Barton, Investigative reporter
Chicago Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen say the Feds gave them access to the Blagojevich wiretap tapes and transcripts they used in writing their book entitled “Golden.”
This access was granted to them when the material was under seal and unavailable to anyone else, in or out of the media.
IP2P has learned that Coen has made another claim – one that takes the cozy relationship between the Tribune and the Feds to a whole new level. Remember, the Feds initially leaked information to the Tribune about the existence of the Fed’s wiretap on Blago.
When asked about the sealed Blagojevich tapes and transcripts that the Feds shared with the two reporters for their book, Coen replied that the leaked material was “the Tribune's business.” He refused to elaborate.
In other words, talk to my boss. So we’ve talked to Coen’s boss.
Tribune Editor Gerould Kern was asked why the Trib has failed to share the tapes and transcripts with its readers.
Kern will not respond.
We call upon the Chicago Tribune to inform its readers and publish the transcripts. After all, they represent news, and the paper is supposed to be in the news business.
There is no legal ban on printing the material. Chase and Coen have already referred to tapes in their book. But there they only quoted material from inane conversations with little news value to Chicagoans.
In other words, they teased their readers, but didn’t inform them.
So to Gerould Kern we say: Tear down this wall that hides the Blagojevich tapes.
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
A proven, reliable source informs IP2P that Sheldon Sorosky, Rod Blagojevich’s attorney, has confirmed what we’ve long suspected: Blago’s silence has been bought. The payoff is ahead.
Here’s how it stacks up.
Rod Blagojevich is free to talk publicly about any, and all, of the phone conversations recorded by federal agents. And, there’s no protective judicial order restricting him from doing so.
When asked why his client would pretend he’s prohibited from talking about the conversations, Sheldon had no clear explanation.
Sheldon was then asked: If the contents of the tapes prove Blago is innocent, why has Blago remained silent? Sheldon has no clear explanation.
When asked if Rod Blagojevich's pending appeal would be based on the claim that the defense could not play the tapes, Sheldon said that the appeal would focus on specific tapes.
Then, Sheldon was asked – why, if those specific conversations would prove Blago innocent, hasn’t Blago identified those with whom he had those conversation, and what those conversations were about, Sheldon acknowledged that nothing restricts Blago from revealing that information.
Oh, okay, nothing stops Blago from talking. We get that.
Asked why Blago hadn’t revealed what’s on the tapes, Sheldon had no clear explanation. (You see a pattern here?)
Here’s what we at IP2P suggest: Sheldon should just put Blago's recollection of those conversations in his appellate brief due May 30, 2013.
Absolutely nothing prevents him from doing that.
Nothing, that is, unless there’s a deal in place that assures that the public never knows what’s on those tapes, in exchange for a significant reduction in Blago’s jail time.
In short, we believe Blago's silence has been bought.
It is the Chicago Way. Right?
The underlying question is this: Besides getting himself an early Out-of-Jail Card, who is being protected by Blago’s silence?
Thomas Barton, Investigative Reporter
In an interview with veteran reporter Barbara Hollingsworth, Chicago Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen revealed that the Feds gave them the tapes and transcripts that the U.S Attorney's office still refuses to share with anyone else.
That begs this question: Why did the Feds give the Trib reporters, and only the Trib reporters, access to this incendiary material?
Here’s our answer: So that Chase and Coen could assure you that there’s "Nothing to hear on these tapes, folks. Move along now."
Consequently, we believe the Trib reporters colluded with the Feds, with the complicity of the Tribune management, in order to dupe you, the public.
We also question why we’ve heard no outrage from Rod Blagojevich or his attorneys. Do you suppose there’s a "back-room deal" to trade Blago's silence for his early-release from prison?
John Chase and Jeff Coen have revealed none of the taped conversations, they say the Feds gave them, that recorded Blago’s conversations with multiple prominent persons in the Washington D.C. halls of power.
To change that, why don’t Chase and Coen start by sharing the Rahm Emanuel-taped conversations with Chicagoans? He is our Mayor, after all.
As this story unfolds, and as the true reasons for Patrick Fitzgerald having been appointed U.S. Attorney Northern District of Illinois become clear, it will also become clear that this level and scope of corruption requires the co-operation of the Chicago media.
The struggle to remain a free people requires an honest "Fourth Estate." And today, Chicago doesn't have one.
Read Hollingsworth's article here: Source of Leaked Transcripts of Blagojevich Tapes
H/T Chicago Daily Observer:
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Kudos to the Chicago Daily Observer for their relentless pursuit of the truth. (Unlike the Tribune Co., which is largely responsible for the prostitution of the dead-tree "Fourth Estate" in Chicago.)
Today, at the Chicago Daily Observer, you’ll find an example of legitimate journalism displayed by Barbara Hollingsworth, as we learn that one of the Blagojevich attorneys has gone on-record stating that Chicago Tribune reporters Jeff Coen and John Chase are lying about having had access to the federal wiretap tapes and transcripts – material that was never made public.
And, furthermore, that the U.S. Attorney's Office was so concerned about the contents of the tapes being leaked, they insisted that the Blagojevich's and their attorneys return all copies of tapes and transcripts back to the government.
Michael Ettinger, one of the defense attorneys for Blagojevich’s brother, Robert, was even blunter: “If Jeff Coen said he listened to the 500 hours of tapes, he's a liar," Ettinger told me in a recent email. “The government wanted all tapes, copies and transcripts returned before [Robert’s case] was dismissed out.” Ettinger added in a follow-up phone conversation with me that, “Rod’s team had to give them back, too. No one kept them.”
Read more of Hollingsworth's article here: Just How Did those “Sealed” Blagojevich Tapes Get to the Tribune Reporters?
Hats off to Barbara Hollingsworth and the Chicago Daily Observer. An honest Fourth Estate is essential to fight corruption and remain a free people.
Thomas Barton, Investigative Reporter
Chicago Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen are on-record claiming to have had access to all the Blagojevich wiretap tape recordings that were never made public.
The U.S Attorneys Office has gone on-record claiming that they did not give Chase or Coen access to the Blagojevich wiretap tapes and transcripts.
So, here's what we know for sure:
(1.) The Blagojevich wiretap tapes and transcripts are sealed by a federal protective order signed by Judge James Zagel. The only way to legally obtain them is from the feds.
(2.) Chase and Coen claim to have had accessed the recordings and have offered up a sample of taped conversations that were never made public as proof of possession.
(3.) The U.S. Attorney's Office insists that no one there provided the tapes or transcripts to anyone, including Chase and Coen.
Doesn't that mean Chase and Coen have confessed to being involved in the act of breaking a federal protective order signed by Judge Zagel?
Keep in mind that this isn't the first time Chase has received information as a result of someone acting above federal law. The existence of the federal wiretap made its way to Chase after someone in the Department of Justice broke the law and leaked it to him.
Why did U.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald enforce federal law when it involved New York Times reporter Judith Miller, but chose not to enforce federal law when it involved Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase?
Do the Chicago Tribune editors and reporters act with impunity outside of federal law?
And, hey, why are the Chicago and national media ignoring this story?
Does Judith Miller have any thoughts on the subject? We'll ask her.
<< Breaking News >>
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
In a stunning development, Chicago Review Press, publisher of "Golden: How Rod Blagojevich Talked Himself out of the Governor's Office and into Prison," confessed to failing to fact-check the book.
Cynthia Sherry of Chicago Review Press recently went on the record stating that the publisher "trusts their authors," and that she "trusted the Chicago Tribune and their reporters so there was no need for her to fact-check the book."
Does that mean Chicago Review Press does not fact-check any of the books they publish?
Ms. Sherry also acknowledged that she didn't confirm that John Chase and Jeff Coen actually had access to the wiretap recordings they claim in the book.
Chicago Review Press' trust of the Tribune, Chase, and Coen is even more remarkable when you consider that Ms. Sherry, and others at Chicago Review Press, were provided verifiable information that should have insured that they take all precautions and thoroughly vet the claims Chase and Coen made.
That is, unless fact-checking the book didn't fit the publisher's agenda.
Did Chicago Review Press betray our trust?
What really should have Chicagoans scratching their heads is this: The Blagojevich legal team has remained silent as Chase and Coen tell the world there's nothing on the tapes that vindicate Blagojevich, and that the tapes prove his guilt.
Keep in mind, these are tapes that Blago and his lawyers claim they can't talk about. And, these are tapes that Chase and Coen could not have obtained legally, unless they recieved acsess from the feds. And the feds have denied giving them that access.
So, how is Blagojevich helped by silence?
Why are lawyers remaining silent?
Remember, the appeal they filed is (suppose to be) for the right to a new trial. Not for freedom.
No comment from Blagojevich attorney Sheldon Sorosky has been yet offered. Only the sound of crickets.
Sheldon where are you? Why aren't you representing your client, Rod Blagojevich?
Much more to come........
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
It's time for the U.S. Attorney in Chicago to reopen the criminal investigation of Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s attempt to purchase the U.S. Senate seat that Rod Blagojevich was found guilty of trying to sell to him.
After all, why are we to believe Jr. when he say's he did not try to buy the senate seat? He's a confessed liar.
Plus, Jackson is bipolar, right? So ask him again. Maybe this time he'll confess.
Don't forget: the prosecution has Jackson friends and allies, Raghuveer Nayak and Rajinder Bedi, ready to testify under oath that Jr. tried to buy the seat. And then there's Rod Blagojevich sitting in a federal prison for attempting to sell the Senate seat to Jr. What more does a prosecutor need?
Sounds like a slam dunk conviction. (Maybe that's the problem.)
If prosecutors want overkill, they can call John Chase and Jeff Coen to testify about the contents of the wiretap recordings - recordings that only John and Jeff were allowed to hear.
Keep in mind, the statute of limitations on this crime expires next December. It's time to act.
This would come as great news to Robert Blagojevich. He's expressed disappointment to Carol Marin of the Chicago Sun Times that the House Committee on Ethics would no longer be investigating Jackson's attempt to purchase the Senate seat, due to the fact that Jackson resigned from congress. (Which is like telling a teacher who sexually abused students that arrest is avoided by resigning.)
Robert Blagojevich, we at IP2P stand with you in your quest to have this fully investigated, and call on the DoJ to reopen the criminal investigation into Jackson's attempt to purchase the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.
And furthermore, we urge Carol Marin and the Sun Times to get behind Robert in this worthy cause.
Let's all help Robert Blagojevich get the investigation into Jackson reopened. Let justice be served.
Thomas Barton, Investigative Reporter
Jesse Jackson, Jr. supporters claim that he was not himself when he repeatedly broke campaign finance laws, beginning in 2005 and continuing thru 2012. And, that his bipolar condition contributed to his illegal behavior?
Read: Statement Of The Offense
If we're to believe J.J., Jr. when he testified that he didn't attempt to purchase the U.S. Senate seat from then governor Rod Blagojevich, wouldn't the USAO charge Raghuveer Nayak and Rajinder Bedi with lying to federal agents for claiming that he did try to purchase the Senate seat? And furthermore, they were instructed by Jackson family members to facilitate the purchase?
Someone is lying here.
Either Raghuveer Nayak and Rajinder Bedi need to be charged with lying to the feds, or bipolar-Jackson committed perjury when he claimed he didn't try to buy a lifetime ticket on the Senate gravy train.
So, which is it Attorney General Eric Holder?
Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter
It's only a matter of time before we hear Rod Blagojevich's advocates ask the question: How could Blago be guilty of trying to sell the U.S. Senate Seat that Barack Obama vacated, if there was no buyer?That's coming, as part of the puppet show staring Blago.
There was a buyer. But the feds just put him on ice with an indictment that could have, should have, been issued years ago.
The timing of the U.S. Attorney's office (USAO) in Washington, DC decision to stop looking the other way as Jesse Jackson Jr and his wife Sandi broke campaign finance laws, could not have been better. That is, if your goal is to protect Barack Obama and his administration from Chicagogate.
Jesse Jackson, Jr. has presented a dilemma for the Obama administration since the USAO in Chicago gave the go-ahead to the Chicago Tribune to warn Rod Blagojevich that the feds were recording him.
It was a warning given in order to save Jesse Jackson, Jr. from being arrested in a trap set for Blago. After all, not only did Jackson Co-chair Obama's 2008 Campaign Committee, Obama and Michelle are near Jackson family members. And J.J., Jr. knows too much - way too much.
However, as the Jackson's are learning, even family members are expendable if it means protecting the Obamas.
When J.J., Jr. resigned from congress not only did his political career end (perhaps), the investigation into his attempt to buy a U.S. Senate Seat ended, too.
And, the reason Jackson resigned? The USAO in D.C. decided to indict Jackson for crimes the Attorney General had known about for years: Jackson's violation of campaign finance laws.
Simultaneously, the DoJ is protecting Jackson from being indicted for a different crime that the Attorney General has known about for years: Jackson's attempt to purchase a U.S. Senate Seat from then Governor, now federal prisoner, Rod Blagojevich.
It is all part of the puppet show.
Here's a radical idea. Suppose some media personality asks John Chase, and the Chicago Tribune editors, this question: Why did you warn Rod Blagojevich he was being recorded by the feds?
Dept. of Justice turns a blind eye for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, and against the First Amendment
The Entire Staff of Writers, IllinoisPayToPlay
When U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald attacked Peter Lance, and his book Triple Cross, from the Office of the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, he crossed a dangerous line.
A line that, as Americans, we must not allow our government to cross.
That line protects our First Amendment Right of Speech, and prevents government censorship.
View Peter Lance talk about his book Triple Cross here: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Triple
"Peter Lance filed a complaint with the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) asking for an investigation of Patrick Fitzgerald on June 13th, 2009.
He Fed Ex'd copies of the letter to both A.G. Holder and Mary Patrice Brown, then Acting Counsel of the OPR. Lance never received a response from either of them."
You can read the formal complaint filed with the OPR here:
When the Dept. of Justice's (DoJ) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) ignored that Fitzgerald abused his power as U.S Attorney in his attempt to censor a book containing material he disliked. An act that violated the Constitution
The clear message was sent that, Holder's Dept. of Justice doesn't respect the First Amendment. That should chill us all, and make us wonder: What other parts of the Constitution are they ignoring?
At IP2P, we believe the issue of government censorship is of such great importance that we urge all Americans who treasure their God-given right to freedom of speech to let the DoJ know how you feel.
And when you get no satisfaction from the OPR, consider contacting your member of Congress.
Mary Patrice Brown, and the OPR, have been asked to comment on this question: "Why was no investigation into U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's disturbing conduct ever initiated?"
So far, there's been no response.
As this story develops, ask yourself: Do I want the government deciding what I can and cannot read?