Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Robert Blagojevich is on a book tour trying to sell the idea that former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was using him to secure a conviction of his brother, former Governor Rod Blagojevich.
What Robert fails to realize is that his book, "Fundraiser A", tells a completely different story.
In fact, Robert's book confirms for us that the prosecutors withheld damning evidence against him and his brother, Rod, from the jury and the American public.
Case in point: Robert states in his book that he was playing a "game of chicken" with prosecutors.
Here is an excerpt from Robert's book that proves that to be true:
"Day Nineteen: Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Noted in my journal this day:
'Mike [Ettinger] spoke with [Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid] Schar again this morning, Schar wanting to know if I was going to testify. Mike told him I was. Schar's response was that he had other tapes that haven't been played that he could play if he needed. Mike told him to bring it on. I told Mike I won't testify if they drop the charges against me. That was a nonstarter for Mike, he just looked at me. This means they are threatening to use more tapes to get me not to testify."
Normally prosecutors salivate over the prospect of a defendant taking the witness stand.
Ask yourself this: Why would a prosecutor threaten a defendant in hopes of preventing him from taking the stand?
Why would Robert think the prosecutors would drop the case against him rather than see him take the stand?
Well, Robert took the stand, and the prosecutor delivered on his threat, as illustrated by this excerpt from Sun Times reporter Natasha Korecki's book.
"Rob was convincing on direct examination. Next was cross-examination by Niewoehner, who tore into the pristine image Ettinger created. Rob stumbled as Niewoehner asked about a tape that hadn't been played - a November 5, 2008 discussion. 'If you can get Obama to get Fitzgerald to close the investigation on you, it completely provides you with total clarity,' Niewoeher qouted Rob telling his brother.
Rob testified that this exchange had nothing to do with [Valerie] Jarrett's appointment and that it was instead meant 'in context of what politicians do'. He seemed caught off guard, though, and the tension in the courtroom was palable. If the prosecution could do this to Rob in less than 15 minutes, what would they do to his brother?"
So Robert, the day after getting elected president, you and Rod thought Obama would get Fitzgerald to close the investigation just because that's "what politicians do"?
Really Robert? Don't you mean crooked politicians?
And Robert, do you really expect us to believe that asking Obama to get Fitzgerald to close the investigation on your brother had nothing to do with the offer to appoint Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate seat Obama vacated?
Like they say, let's go to the tape!
Here's a question that Fitzgerald was asked but he refused to answer.
Why did the prosecution not present such a damning recording in their case against Robert and Rod?
They obviously did not want that tape on record because it would implicate other well known politicians who were being protected by Fitzgerald.
If Robert did not take the stand, we would have never known that he and Rod had reason to believe Obama would call off Fitzgerald and close the investigation if Rod appointed Jarrett to the U.S Senate.
But Robert did take the stand and Fitzgerald's office met him head on by using a single quote from the wiretap tape that they are still withholding to this day. The quote the prosecutors used can only be found in trial transcripts due to the fact that they never entered the tape or transcripts of it into evidence.
Clearly both the prosecutors and the defendants in this case do not want the full contents of that wiretap tape to be made public. Thus the "game of chicken" Robert referred to in his book.
By the way Robert, you spent a good part of your book calling Patrick Fitzgerald a liar. While I do not disagree with you on that assertion, I would like to point out that when you say "you beat him at his own game" and you were playing a "game of chicken" with him, that you are in fact boasting that you're a better liar!
Since you like to play games Robert, how about we play a game of truth or dare?
If you won't tell the truth, I dare you to release the full transcript of that November 5, 2008 conversation between you and your brother.
Or would that take away the leverage that you are using to get Rod out of prison?
More to come...
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-chief
Was former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald displaying his intellectual shortcomings or was he just being duplicitous when he was given the opportunity to deny that he was the one who ultimately warned Governor Rod Blagojevich that he was recording Blago's phone conversations?
In a recent phone call Fitzgerald was asked directly:
"Do you deny that the U.S. Attorney's Office had communications with the Chicago Tribune about the Blagojevich case on Dec. 4, 2008?"
Fitzgerald's response: "I'm not denying it and I'm not not denying it."
Really, Patrick? "Not not denying it"?
You either deny it or you don't.
And for the record, you did "not deny" communicating with the Chicago Tribune before you decided to "not not deny" communicating with them.
What's next, Patrick? Are you and former White House counsel Greg Craig, who is now your law partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, going to do Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first" routine for us?
And by the way is "not not" the kind of nonsense you teach the students at the University of Chicago Law School in your capacity as a Feirson Distinguished Lecturer?
If so, they will never be able to practice law anywhere but Chicago.
To: Sarah Galer
Cc: amgardn, andaws
Sent: March 29, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Subject: Feirson Distinguished Lecturer
Ms. Sarah Galer
Please inform Patrick Fitzgerald that the Office of Professional Responsibility and the U.S. Inspector Generals Office would be who conducts an investigation of a U.S. Attorney.
I would have thought a "Feirson Distinguished Lecturer" would know that.
< name redacted >
p.s. Perhaps Mr. Fitzgerald's 1st lecture could be on this very subject.
To: Patrick Fitzgerald
Cc: Aaron Goldstein , Sheldon Sorosky
Sent: 2013-03-29 02:46:11 +0000
Subject: Fwd: Media inquiry/Patrick Fitzgerald
Mr. Patrick Fitzgerald
You are on the record claiming that you do not know who would investigate the U.S. Attorney's Office regarding the leaks to John Chase and the Chicago Tribune.
Do you agree, there should be an investigation?
< name redacted >
Sent: 2013-03-27 09:34:58 GMT
Subject: Media inquiry/Patrick Fitzgerald
Ms. Sarah Galer
The fact that the University of Chicago Law School is welcoming former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to be part of your schools program. And, that your showering him with accolades at a time that he is embroiled in controversy. Leads me to believe that you might not be aware of just how serious this may ultimately be for your institutions reputation.
Are you aware of the following?
And, if so, have you done due diligence?
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald “Most Dangerous Man”
Why no Grand Jury? Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase involved in a crime. AGAIN!
< name redacted >
Former U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald named Feirson Distinguished Lecturer
In Fitzgerald's defense, there is the distinct possibility that he really is this stupid. And let's face it, if he truly is mentally challenged, how would he know unless someone told him?
After all, the media does nothing but tell Fitzgerald how wonderfully smart he is.
In fact, the fawning Chicago media actually remained silent as Fitzgerald declared during a press conference about the Blagojevich case that the leaks to the Tribune "might have come from his office so he could not investigate them," and that he "had no idea who would investigate".
Wow! Can you believe that?
Amazingly, no one in the adoring mainstream media insisted that Fitzgerald explain those ridiculously stupid statements.
Well, Patrick, IP2P has news for you: you're not as bright as the media has led you to believe.
And now that it appears that Blagojevich will get out of prison soon, we insist that you explain your asinine statements about the leaks from your office to the Chicago Tribune.
And while you're at it, Fitz, you also need to explain to the public why you buried irrefutable evidence that:
(A) Sibel Edmonds gave you in the Plamegate scandal;
(B) John A. Shaw gave you in the Nadhmi Auchi scandal; and
(C) I, Ernie Souchak, gave you in the Blagojevich scandal.
Not to mention the well-documented burying of evidence you did in the Southern District of New York.
To be continued...
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Question: What is the American Thinker trying to hide by taking down articles it published years ago?
Answer: The truth about former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
Recently, former FBI mole and convicted felon John Thomas was arrested for stealing money from Illinois taxpayers.
The only reason that Thomas was able to abscond with taxpayer money this time was because he was no longer on probation.
And the reason he was no longer on probation was because the U.S. Attorneys Office allowed his three-year probation for previous financial crimes to be abruptly terminated after just one year.
As luck would have it for Thomas, the premature termination of his probation came just in time for him to be awarded a multi-million dollar taxpayer funded development contract from the Village of Riverdale, Illinois.
And as anyone with a brain could have predicted, Thomas stole that money too.
Let's hear it for Fitzgerald and his crack team of crime fighters at the U.S. Attorney's Office Northern Dist. Illinois for that brilliant bit of law enforcement.
So now ask yourself this:
Question: Why would the American Thinker remove the following article from its website after two years just right after it became known why Thomas' probation was terminated two years early?
January 12, 2012
Patrick Fitzgerald's Rezko Mole Probation Sentence Terminated Early
By Lee Cary & Marty Watters
The New York felon who U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald wired against Chicago's Tony Rezko got three years probation that ended two years early.
To refresh your memory concerning the mole named John Thomas: in the late 1990s, Bernard T. Barton, Jr. had a billboard business in New York where he rented space on billboards he didn't own or operate. That's illegal.
He defrauded customers out of $350,000, and he used his father's Social Security number to get an American Express business account, where he charged $140,000. Facing a significant jail sentence, he offered to work for the feds. They agreed. His sentence was delayed for about a decade while he cooperated with the FBI.
In 2000, he moved to Chicago, where he became "John Thomas," working undercover for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office.
He eventually became a close business associate of Tony Rezko.
On May 4, 2007, Thomas' undercover identity was revealed by Thomas A. Corfman, a former reporter for the Chicago Tribune, in an article in Crain's ChicagoBusiness.com.Corfman, who had recently rejoined Crain's, wrote:
"A former New Yorker has been conducting an undercover sting investigation for federal prosecutors while working in the Chicago commercial real estate industry, according to sources familiar with the investigation and documents in the man's own federal criminal fraud case."
The next day, May 5, 2007, Tribune staff reporter David Jackson followed up with an article that reported further on Thomas' undercover activities. Wonder how the Trib could be so quick to follow up on Corfman's outing of Thomas? Here's how:
The Trib had known of Thomas' mole role for a year. In his May 5 piece, Jackson reported:
"When a Tribune reporter discovered that Thomas was acting as a federal operative in May 2006, U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald took the unusual step of asking senior editors at the paper to refrain from publishing a report that would expose the ongoing probe. Fitzgerald offered no specifics but said an article would derail an important investigation and put people in serious danger of harm."
By the way, there's no indication that Fitzgerald, who knew the identity of the leaker of Valerie Plame's alleged identity as a CIA operative before he began his investigation, ever went after the leaker who outed Thomas to the Trib in 2006. If breaking Thomas' cover in 2006 could have put people in "serious danger," why wouldn't it have done so in 2007?
Back to the narrative:
On February 8, 2008, the Chicago Sun Times reported (emphasis in original):
"For the first time, the FBI "mole" who's expected to be a key prosecution witness against indicted developer and political fund-raiser Tony Rezko is talking. ...
Sources said Thomas also logged frequent visits to Rezko from Gov. Blagojevich and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Blagojevich and Obama were among the many politicians for whom Rezko raised campaign cash. Neither has been charged with any wrongdoing. ...
Sources said Thomas helped investigators build a record of repeat visits to the old offices of Rezko and former business partner Daniel Mahru's Rezmar Corp., at 853 N. Elston, by Blagojevich and Obama during 2004 and 2005. ...
Sources said the government had him wear a hidden wire to record conversations with a Chicago alderman -- but that he did not record Blagojevich or Obama."
Despite the Sun-Times' prediction, Thomas was not called to testify at Tony Rezko's trial. He was the Silent Mole.
On June 23, 2010, writing for ChicagoRealEstateDaily.com, Corfman, still keeping tabs on Thomas-Barton, reported:
"U.S. District Court Judge Elaine Bucklo on Monday gave three years probation to Mr. Thomas, who was indicted under the name Bernard T. Barton Jr., court records show.
Mr. Thomas pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge, which carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison."
In a January 3, 2012 email, Randall Samborn, spokesperson for Fitzgerald's office, stated that Thomas' three-year probation was terminated in June 2011, after one year. The silent Mole is now completely free.
Today, John Thomas is a commercial real estate broker in Chicago.
Meanwhile, a government motion that describes Thomas' undercover activities is sealed. According to Samborn, that's not unusual when records contain "information about non-public law enforcement matters."
There's no indication that the Trib, which went to great lengths to get the sealed divorce records of Jack and Jeri Ryan opened in 2004, against both Ryans' wishes, shows any interest in getting Thomas' sealed file opened.
Ryan was the initial GOP candidate in the race against Barack Obama for a U.S. Senate seat representing Illinois -- that is, until his divorce file was pried opened by efforts led by the Trib, where David Axelrod was once the youngest political editor ever.
Here's a final head-scratcher:
Way back on February 22, 2002, Corfman, then a reporter for the Tribune, in an article focused on Donald Trump's efforts to retain a firm to "handle leasing for his proposed mixed-use skyscraper on the riverfront site of the Chicago Sun Times," wrote:
"John Thomas, a partner in Chicago-based Carnegie Realty Partners, and a Carnegie employee, Louis Giordano of New York, were arrested last year in connection with an alleged fraud scheme that took place over five years in New York[.] ...
Thomas and Giordano are free on bond, according to court records. The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York would not comment on the case."
What? Rezko let someone whom the Trib had reported as having been arrested in New York in the early 2000s, who then resurfaced in Chicago, get close to him? Didn't Tony read the papers? And where is there any mention of Thomas's real name -- Bernard T. Barton, Jr.? Wouldn't that name, and not "John Thomas," have been in his New York criminal records?
The more we know about the Rezko Mole, the more we realize that there's a lot we don't know.
Answer: Because influential friends of the American Thinker now fear that articles like that will lead to the public knowing what Fitzgerald was really doing in Chicago. And just how cozy his relationship with the George W. Bush administration really was.
Much more to come...
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!
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.
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.
Thomas Barton, Illinois Pay-to-Play Political Commentator
The photo above originally appeared in a “Middle East website” and shows, left to right, Nadhmi Auchi, then Governor Rod Blagojevich, and a man who appears to be the then Iraq Minister of Electricity, Aiham Alsammarae, pictured alone below.
Alsammarae now lives in a northern suburb of Chicago.
Previously on Illinois PayToPlay, you were introduced to Andrew Walden’s 2008 piece, posted by Accuracy In Media, entitled “Iraqi Billionaire Threatens Reporters Investigating Rezko Affair.”
Bin 2008, Walden doggedly examined Nadhmi Auchi’s involvement in Illinois politics. His piece below was posted by WikiLeaks. It focuses on the extensive efforts taken by Auchi’s lawyers to suppress references to their client, worldwide. Some of the links in the original may no longer work.
Debunking the Carter Ruck defence of British-Iraqi billionaire Nadhmi Auchi
May 30, 2008 By Andrew Walden (Hawai'i Free Press)
“Nadhmi Auchi, seen here with the Governor of Illinois, Rob Blagojevich (middle) at a 2004 Chicago dinner in Auchi's honor arranged by Antonin Rezko (potentially, right ) [It’s not Rezko in the photo.] All three men have been convicted of corruption related charges (Auchi 2003, Rezko 2008, Blagojevich 2009).
“A British-Iraqi billionaire lent millions of dollars to Barack Obama's fundraiser (dual US-Syrian citizen Tony Rezko) just weeks before an imprudent land deal that has returned to haunt the presidential contender, an investigation by The Times discloses. The money transfer raises the question of whether funds from Nadhmi Auchi, one of Britain’s wealthiest men, helped Mr. Obama buy his mock Georgian mansion in Chicago.” -- The Times of London February 26, 2008
The Auchi-Rezko-Obama connection came to public attention with federal marshals pounding on the door of Tony Rezko’s Wilmette Chicago mansion in the early morning of January 28, 2008. They hauled Rezko to jail after his bail was revoked for concealing a $3.5 million Auchi loan from the court. The Times outlines the story in two sentences. It should be of tremendous interest to the American public and the world.
But there is more to this story than run-of-the mill political corruption. Nadhmi Auchi is alleged to have a long affiliation with Iraqi Baathism and Saddam Hussein—which his attorneys deny. How close were they? According to a 1960 US Embassy report, Auchi was convicted along with Saddam by an Iraqi court for his part in a failed 1959 assassination attempt against then-Iraqi Prime Minister Qassim. For his crime, Auchi earned a sentence of “three years rigorous imprisonment.”
Journalists digging into stories involving Auchi often find themselves peppered with threats of libel litigation from a London law firm known as Carter-Ruck. Auchi’s litigation threats have chased eight articles from the internet sites of the UK Guardian, Observer and New Statesman.
WikiLeaks itself is now under legal attack by Auchi’s lawyers.
What is so stifling about English libel law? In the U.K., as Carter-Ruck explains and Slander Cases.html on its own website: “A libel claimant does not have to prove that the words are false or to prove that he has in fact suffered any loss. Damage is presumed.”
In a December, 2003, obituary, former C-R partner David Hooper wrote:
“The libel lawyer Peter Carter-Ruck, who died on Friday, had a chilling effect on the media. He was a chancer, out for the maximum fee. And he did for freedom of speech what the Boston Strangler did for door-to-door salesmen.”
Posted on the Carter-Ruck website, Injunctions.html an article by C-R partner Nigel Tait outlines the limited legal bases for “prior restraint” in England but then explains that some publishers can be convinced to censor themselves by “the first two (sic) weapons of the Spanish Inquisition. Fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency.”
Perhaps hoping to inspire “fear and surprise” with “ruthless efficiency” Carter-Ruck demand letters—laden with misspellings and what appear to be cut-and-paste formulations--have been going out not only to large British newspapers, but also to American newspapers and both well-known and obscure bloggers.
Posted on April 23, 2008—in the midst of the US Presidential race--an article on Auchi’s Middle East Online website boasted of knocking six articles off of the Guardian and Observer websites. Bloggers began receiving Carter-Ruck letters demanding that allegedly defamatory comments be removed from their comments section. MEO displayed a sphinx-like image of Auchi. The caption: "Tracking even the search engines."
It worked. When the November election came and went, the American public barely knew Rezko and knew Auchi even less. Obama won.”…
Read Walden’s thorough refutation of Carter-Ruck’s position here on WikiLeaks.