21Jul/140

Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase goes on the record: Why he warned Blagojevich about the wiretap

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase went on record saying that the reason he made the late night phone call warning Rod Blagojevich that federal agents were recording him was because he "did not want to get scooped on the story".

Chase's ridiculous statement made it very clear that he was not expecting to be asked any common sense follow-up questions.

Big mistake, John!

Keep in mind that the Tribune had been cooperating for 2 months with U.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office and had agreed not to run a story about the wiretap on Blagojevich.

But when Chase was asked what happened on Dec. 4, 2008 for the Tribune to abruptly change from cooperating with the feds to exposing their wiretap, he was at a loss to give a coherent answer.

Chase was then asked if he or anyone else at the Tribune called Patrick Fitzgerald or anyone else at the U.S. Attorney's Office to let them know that the Tribune was going to expose their wiretap that night?

He was stumped, and refused to answer this simple yes or no question.

Here is why Chase could not answer that particular question.

If Chase had called Patrick Fitzgerald and informed him that the Tribune was now going to expose the feds' wiretap on Blago, wouldn't Fitz try to convince the Trib to wait just one more day?

After all, Blagojevich's brother, Robert, was scheduled to meet with Raghuveer Nayak, Jesse Jackson Jr's money man, to discuss the terms of Jackson's purchase of Barack Obama's U.S Senate seat the very next day.

Blagojevich and Jackson would both have been caught red-handed if Chase had not made that call warning Blago.

On the other hand, if Chase had not called the prosecutors office Fitzgerald would have been justifiably furious at the Tribune for derailing the biggest case of his career.

Instead, Fitzgerald thanked the Tribune for its cooperation, and later gave Chase and Jeff Coen access to the sealed wiretap tapes and transcripts even though the two Trib reporters blew his wiretap out of the water.

All indications are that Fitzgerald was quite OK with Chase warning Blago that night. But obviously Chase can't tell us that.

Even more telling: Chase did not deny that he knew Robert Blagojevich and Nayak were going to meet the next day before he made that late night phone call.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Chase is having a difficult time keeping track of his lies. In his book, "Golden", he contradicts himself by saying that he was chosen by Tribune editors to make the phone call to Blago.

So which is it, John?

Did you:

(A) make the call to inform Blago that the feds' were recording him because you wanted to be remembered as the reporter who blew Fitzgerald's case?

or

(B) make the call because your editors who had been cooperating with Fitzgerald told you to?

It's the simple questions that often prove to be the most difficult for liars to answer.

When Chicago Sun Times reporter Natasha Korecki was asked why she was not asking these questions, she replied: "No reporter wants to make another reporter look bad."

Even when it means not reporting the truth.

Wow! "Only in Chicago."

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1Jun/140

Chicago Tribune reporter Jeff Coen’s own personal “Tell-Tale Heart” got him arrested

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief 

The recent arrest of Chicago Tribune reporter Jeff Coen for deliberately causing $1,500 worth of damage to a CTA train has many asking: Why?

What makes a 43-year-old "adult" do such a bizarre thing?

We at IP2P have every reason to believe the answer is very simple: it's a cry for help. Coen is experiencing his own version of the ageless Edger Allen Poe classic "Tell-Tale Heart" and it is taking its toll on him.

You see, Coen is living a big lie, and he fears his secret will soon be fully exposed.

Coen's troubles started when he agreed to fabricate stories surrounding the Blagojevich investigation and consequent trials.

Remember, Coen was the co-author of the article used as an excuse to warn Rod Blagojevich that his friend and former chief-of-staff, John Wyma, was cooperating with the feds and that Blagojevich was being recorded.

From there, Coen sought to cash in on lies he was asked to tell by telling even bigger whoppers in a book.

You might remember that work of fiction: "Golden". You know, the one in which Coen and his co-author, John Chase, claimed they had copies of all the Blagojevich wiretap recordings and that they had listened to all of the them.

Well as those lies have begun to unravel, so has Jeffrey.

The thought of being exposed for writing a book filled with lies has been weighing heavily on Coen's mind. (We know this for a fact. ) And there is a real possibility that Coen has come to realize that being exposed as a habitual liar is inevitable.

The fear of being found out resulted in Coen's obvious mental breakdown, causing him to go ballistic on a CTA train.

Let's all hope that Jeff accepts the counseling that has been offered to him, and heeds the wisdom of another ageless classic, "The truth will set you free", before it is too late and he seriously hurts someone.

Jeff, we hear your cry for help. Now just tell the truth...

Human Behavior Consultant Virginia Clemm Contributed

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8Apr/140

The Blagojevich legal team just can’t get their story straight

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

The Blagojevich legal team just can't get their story straight. Most notably, they're having a difficult time coming up with a reasonable explanation for why they did not make Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase tell a jury how he knew that the FBI had a wiretap on Blago.

Such a difficult time, in fact, veteran attorney Sheldon Sorosky actually said that if he had called Chase to testify, "They would have just blamed an FBI agent" for leaking the information about the wiretap.

Let's take a minute to fully appreciate what a truly remarkable statement that is for a defense attorney to make.

Clearly Sorosky is at a loss to explain why he did not call the one witness whose testimony could discredit the very people that Blago needed to discredit, namely the FBI.

Good thing you chose not to discredit the FBI, Shelly. Otherwise the prosecutors would have regretted calling FBI agent Dan Cain as their first witness to testify against your client in BOTH of Blagojevich's trials.

Remarkable, Shelly, truly remarkable! Can anyone spell malpractice?

Blago's other legal eagles, Sam Adam and Sam Adam, Jr., have been contacted by IP2P but have not responded. If they have anything to add to Sorosky's explanation just let us know?

As for Robert Blagojevich's attorney, Michael Ettinger, his previous position was that they would have put Chase on the witness stand had they thought of it. But that has now become "I don't recall who John Chase is."

Really Michael, now you don't remember who "Golden" author John Chase is? That's peculiar considering you've publicly declared John Chase a liar.

Apparently Ettinger has now decided to rejoin the rest of the Blagojevich legal team in their silence on the subject of John Chase knowing about the FBI wiretap and receiving copies of the sealed tapes from the feds.

When you add all of the above to the fact that the media in Chicago is completely ignoring everything while posting "poor Patti Blagojevich" stories, you can only come to one conclusion:

The feds and Blago have finalized their deal, and you can expect the announcement of his early release from prison very soon.

Oh, and don't be surprised if you hear that WLS Radio has a job waiting for Blago when he gets out.

More to come......

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30Mar/140

Blagojevich agreed to let Chicago Tribune reporters lie about the tapes

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

This may come as no surprise, but Rod Blagojevich's get-out-of-jail deal not only involves the federal prosecutors and his defense team, it also included the direct involvement of the Chicago Tribune.

That's because, as part of his deal to get out of prison, Rod Blagojevich agreed to let Chicago Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen lie to the public about the wiretap tapes that put him there.

Due to some excellent investigative reporting by Barbara Hollingsworth, who now writes for CNS News, we know that the feds gave Chase and Coen copies of court-sealed tapes and transcripts from the Blagojevich case.

Gee, why would the FEDS do that?

Simple. Chase and Coen were instructed to tell the public that they listened to all the sealed tapes and found nothing interesting on them.

We know differently because Blago was caught on tape talking to some of the top power brokers in the country, including Obama and his chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel.

So the real question you must ask is:

Why would Rod Blagojevich and his lawyers, who knew very well the explosive contents of the conversations caught on those tapes, allow Chase and Coen to lie about them?

Facing 14 years in federal prison, Blagojevich should have dragged Chase and Coen in front of Judge Zagel and made them tell the court who gave them tapes and transcripts that he had placed under seal. But Blago didn't.

The $64k question is why?

Blago's attorney, Sheldon Sorosky, has confirmed that there is and never was anything stopping Blago from telling the public what is on the tapes, which he insist to this day prove his innocence.

So why did Blago and his attorneys let Chase and Coen's public proclamation that the contents of the sealed tapes confirm his guilt go unchallenged?

And why is Blago pretending he wants the tapes to be unsealed when he is completely ignoring the fact that the Chicago Tribune claims to have copies?

More importantly, why are the feds insisting the tapes stay sealed nearly 2 years after they gave copies to the two Chicago Tribune reporters-who have refused to make them public?

What possible reason could Chase and Coen have not to release the transcripts?

The answer is that Chicago Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen are lying to the public, the feds put them up to it, and Blago agreed to go along with the deception as part of his get-out-of-jail deal.

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15Mar/140

The real reason the Blagojevich tapes won’t be unsealed

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

The real reason the Blagojevich tapes won't be unsealed is because it would expose the widespread corruption at the highest levels of our government.

Like we at IP2P have been telling you for a long time, Blago will be set free. In other words, he is successfully blackmailing his way out of prison!

Here's how it will work:

A three-judge panel hearing Blago's appeal has already taken the first step by announcing that the Blagojevich tapes would remain sealed.

Next, the same three-judge panel will find that Blago did not try to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. The court will say that Blago was just engaged in "political horse trading."

Blago's conviction for trying to sell the Senate seat will be overturned, and combined with a few other slick legal maneuvers, his sentence will be drastically reduced. Instead of spending 12 more years in federal prison, Blago will most likely be home for the holidays this year.

Time served! Which will make Dick Mell's daughter, Patti, very happy.

But more importantly for people like Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel, the court will have bought the silence of Rod and Patti Blagojevich.

As IP2P has been pointing out all along, the issue has never been whether or not the wiretap tapes would prove Blago's innocence. From the very beginning, the real issue for Blago has been leverage, and who else would go down with him if the tapes were played.

And that's why Blago never really wanted the tapes to be played. If they were, he would lose his leverage. It's that simple.

If not for the fact that Patrick Fitzgerald was protecting other guilty parties, Blago would have most certainly faced even more charges and most likely would have been found guilty of them as well.

Conclusion:

Playing the tapes would not prove Blago's innocence or get him out of prison. It would just get him company in there.

However, not playing the tapes ensures that those who would join Blago in prison if the tapes were played will do everything in their power to get him out of prison so the tapes won't be played.

And just as we expected, there was no objection to the tapes remaining under seal from Blago and his attorneys. Even though all we've heard for years from them was "Play the tapes, play all the tapes."

There's nothing complicated about it. This is BLACKMAIL 101.

And clearly Eric Holder and the DoJ is onboard.

Much more to come ..... including how John Chase and Jeff Coen of the Chicago Tribune are complicit in this corruption cover-up. And wait until you hear Blago attorney Sheldon Sorosky's incredible explanation of why Chase was never called to testify in the Blagojevich trial.

You won't believe what Shelly had to say!

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9Feb/140

Rod Blagojevich continues to insult the people of Illinois

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Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

Rod Blagojevich continues to insult the people of Illinois. He obviously thinks we are stupid.

That is the only way to explain Blago's ridiculous behavior when it comes to the subject of federal wiretap recordings in his case.

Here's the latest:

Rod Blagojevich's attorney's recently filed a motion objecting to prosecutors' request to have the tapes continue to remain under seal.

No kidding, Blago apparently thinks that the people of Illinois will believe the fairytale that he actually wants the tapes and transcript to be made public.

Rod, let me try to put this delicately for you.

In a pigs eye! We already know that there is not a snowball's chance in hell that you want those tapes in the public domain.

Because if you did, your lawyers would be filing motions to drag Chicago Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen into court to explain who gave them copies of tapes and transcripts that were under court seal.

And Rod, you and your attorneys sure as hell would not have just sat there silently as Chase and Coen told your potential jury pool that the contents of the "sealed tapes and transcripts" prove your guilt rather than your innocence.

Which is exactly what they did while touring Illinois promoting their book, Golden.

In addition, Blagojevich's attorney, Sheldon Sorosky, has admitted that there is nothing legally stopping the former governor from revealing to the public the full details of conversations that were captured on tape. But so far Blago has chosen not to do so.

However, we know for a fact that he has been using the tapes to blackmail his way out of prison.

We also know that Blago, the prosecutors, and an untold number of other miscreants want the tapes to remain sealed forever.

So Rod, contrary to what you think, we are not that stupid. Either drag Chase and Coen into court and start telling us what is on those tapes, or shut the hell up about them!

 

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19Aug/130

Chicago Tribune editors go off the Obama reservation

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Jontel Kassidy, Senior Capital Correspondent

John P. McCormick, Deputy Editorial Page Editor (left), Bruce Dold, Editorial Page Editor (center) and Gerould Kern                     ,

The Chicago Tribune, long a media shill for the Obama Presidential candidacy, and then for his administration, has wandered off the Obama reservation on Obamacare. In an editorial posted August 18, 2013, the Trib editors’ lede reads:

“Democrats strong-armed Obamacare into law three years ago. Now they're busy flouting it.”

“Strong-armed?” What sort of language is that for the Trib to use to describe how the problematic legislation was passed?

Their editorial closes with this paragraph:

“Bottom line: Let's delay and rewrite this ill-conceived law. Congress need not start from scratch. Lawmakers can build on what all of us have learned from three years of painful trial and error. Three years of attempting, but failing, to make this clumsy monstrosity work for the American people.”

Oh, so now the Trib’s brain-trust declares Obamacare an “ill-conceived” “clumsy monstrosity” that has brought “three years of painful trial and error” to the American people?

And their recommendation is to re-build Obamacare on its failure?

Sure, that’ll work.

It’s reminiscent of that scene in the Bruce Willis movie Die Hard when John McClane throws a dead crook out the window of Nakatomi Towers on top of Sgt. Powell’s patrol car to get his attention.

In the Trib editors’ case, the body is the “monstrosity” of Obamacare falling on America. “Welcome to the party,” Tribune editors.

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24Jul/130

Keepers of the Blagojevich Tapes Under Investigation

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Thomas Barton, Investigative Reporter

Today, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Office of the Inspector General are looking into the circumstances surrounding the Chicago Tribune's role in the Blagojevich case.

Here’s why.

The federal government granted Chicago Tribune employees John Chase and Jeff Coen the power to decide whether the public gets to hear the court-sealed Blagojevich wiretap tapes, or read any of the transcripts.

So far, they’ve decided that we can neither listen to the audio tapes, nor read the transcripts, of any of them.

Oh, they did refer to a couple of inane, innocuous conversations in their book. However, so far, they’ve decided that they, the Keepers of the Blago Tapes, and only they, should hear the tapes or read the transcripts.

They don’t want us to hear, for example, the conversation Blagojevich had with former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert on November 5, 2008.

They don’t want us to hear the conversation Blago had with former Obama Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on November 8, 2008.

They don’t want us to hear the conversation Blago had with Obama's political consultant Bill Knapp on November 12, 2008.

Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers consider these conversations important enough to be included in their Appellate Brief filed on behalf of their client. Curiously though, Blago's attorneys are not asking that those conversations be made public either.

If Appeals Attorney Len Goodman believes these conversations are important enough to include in an Appellate Brief for his client Rod Blagojevich, why wouldn’t the two fed-appointed Keepers of the Blago Tapes take advantage of the public’s interest in those conversations and increase the circulation of their employer’s newspaper by printing the transcripts?

Instead of digging for the truth, the “Keepers” have gone underground. Meanwhile, Blagojevich’s legal team has essentially endorsed the idea that the tapes should never be played for the public.

What’s up with that?

The DoJ investigators are on the case: Don't expect much from them.

However, IP2P has learned of a developing front that should concern those who have colluded to keep the truth from We the People.

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22Jul/130

Illinois U.S. Attorney’s Office caught lying

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Shared Ethics in Government Breakfast Meeting- March 14, 2013

 

On May 6, 2013, veteran reporter Barbara Hollingsworth, who now writes for CNS News, reported that Chicago Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen revealed that the feds were their source for the sealed Blagojevich wiretap tapes and transcripts the reporters refer to in their book "Golden."

Following that story, IP2P has just learned this:

Months before Chase and Coen's source was revealed, Randall Samborn, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office, insisted that the government did not give Chase and Coen access to the Blago tapes or transcripts. That claim was documented in the email below.

From: Randall.Samborn@usdoj.gov
To: < redacted >
Sent: Wed Dec 5 07:28:01 UTC 2012
Subject: RE: Media inquiry re USA v Blagojevich

Let me be clear, the government did not provide the authors access to any non-public materials and I reject your assertion. As I said, we are done with this.

From: < redacted >
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 1:25 PM
To: Samborn, Randall (USAILN)
Subject: Re: Media inquiry re USA v Blagojevich

Randall

Are you refusing to give me the same access that was given to John Chase and Jeff Coen?

(Name redacted)

Imagine Samborn's surprise when he learned that Chase and Coen "burned" their source by revealing that it was, in fact, the U.S. Attorney’s office that gave them access to the court sealed documents they refer to in their book. Below is Samborn's response when asked about the new development.

From: Randall Samborn (USAILN)
To: < redacted >
Sent: 2013-05-14 18:01:35 +0000
Subject: RE: Media inquiry (Tribune reporters)

No comment

From: < redacted >
Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 12:49 PM
To: Samborn, Randall (USAILN)
Subject: Media inquiry (Tribune reporters)

Mr. Randall Samborn

Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen have revealed that the federal government was the source that provided them with the Blagojevich wiretap tapes and transcripts that were under court seal and never made public.

What is your response to Chase and Coen exposing the Federal Government as their source?

(Name redacted)

Chicago Tribune reporters work for Federal Government

http://illinoispaytoplay.com/2013/05/06/chicago-tribune-reporters-work-for-federal-government/

So, after the feds insisted they did not provide access to the Tribune reporters, and Chase and Coen revealed that the feds did, the federal government has now changed its position to "No Comment."

It’s obvious that the feds gave Chase and Coen access to sealed material, and then lied about it. And that begs this question: Why the lie?

The Tribune won’t ask that question because they’re part of the lie. And the Sun Times won’t ask because they’re complicit in the lie. So we ask it here. Why the lie?

As well as: What other lies during the Blago saga were told by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and advanced by the Tribune?

Developing story......

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18Jul/130

CNS News gets Blagojevich story right

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Heads up reporting at CNSNews.com sets them apart from the rest of the media. CNS News is the only media outlet that picked up on what is the most important story surrounding the Blagojevich appellate brief filed with the court on Monday, July 15, 2013. THE TAPES! (You know, the ones that Blagojevich wants played and only Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen have copies of)

So, while the MSM put their stenographers on Blago's appeal, CNS News, who employs real Journalists, came away with an important story everyone else in the media is missing.

CNS News Excerpt:

Blagojevich’s lawyers also claimed that Zagel “misled” the jury regarding the legal standards needed to prove fraud, extortion and bribery by “excluding evidence of the defendant’s good faith” and “misstating" his defense in Zagel’s instructions to jurors.

Five days prior to Blagojevich’s arrest early on Dec. 9, 2008, Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase called his press aide and informed him that the governor was being wiretapped by the FBI. Blagojevich instructed his brother, Robert, to call off a meeting he had scheduled with Jackson supporter Raghu Nayak.

Prosecutors incorrectly characterized the cancelled meeting and Nayak’s “vague offer” to raise $1.5 million for Blagojevich if he appointed Jackson to the Senate as “soliciting a bribe,” Blagojevich’s lawyers contended.

However, the brief made no mention of the fact that Chase and fellow Tribune reporter Jeff Coen were given exclusive access to 1,800 pages of court-sealed federal wiretap transcripts that Blagojevich was not allowed to use for his defense. Blagojevich’s defense team never called Chase to testify about how he and Coen got access to the tapes, which they quoted extensively in their book, “Golden: How Rod Blagojevich Talked Himself Out of the Governor’s Office and into Prison,” which was published last fall.

While on their book tour, the authors insisted there was “no legal ban” on publishing excerpts from the same tapes that Zagel would not allow Blagojevich to play in court.

Neither reporter responded to an inquiry by CNSNews.com about whether they would make the tapes publicly available.

Read entire CNS article here: Blagojevich Appeal: ‘One-Sided’ Rules Barred Defense From Playing Tapes

Bravo Barbara Hollingsworth and CNS News for getting it right.

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