24Jul/130

Keepers of the Blagojevich Tapes Under Investigation

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.

22Jul/130

Illinois U.S. Attorney’s Office caught lying

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......

18Jul/130

CNS News gets Blagojevich story right

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.

8Jun/130

Who will investigate the government leaks to David Axelrod’s pals at the Chicago Tribune?

Thomas Barton, Investigative Reporter

During the news about the Obama regime spying on the press, don't neglect this question: Why hasn't the Inspector General asked John Chase and the Chicago Tribune who in the federal government is leaking sealed information to them?

Why, after assigning a host of federal agents and spending piles of federal dollars to investigate Rod Blagojevich and corruption in Illinois, did Chase and the Tribune get to pull the plug on the federal wiretaps with impunity? Is anyone asking that question besides IP2P? No. Why not?

And, why was the Tribune, and only the Tribune, given access to the Blagojevich wiretap recordings that were never made public? We’re wondering if David Axelrod is still the de facto editor of the paper, and if former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's image as an “Elliot Ness crime-fighter” was all fabricated by the media - led by the Tribune?

Throughout the Blago saga has the Trib only reported what they are told to report by the feds?

Chicago Forward Speakers
              James Compton, Tribune Editors Gerould Kern and Bruce Dold, Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel

 

And finally, why is the Office of the Inspector General concerned about some leaks and not about others? So many questions. So few answers.

-----Original Message-----

From:<redacted>

To: DOJOIG FraudComplaints (OIG)

Sent: 2013-06-07 18:09:18 +0000

Subject: Inspector General investigation?

Has the Office of the Inspector General opened an investigation of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and the U.S. Attorneys Office Northern Dist of Illinois pertaining to leaks from that office to the Chicago Tribune?

(Name Redacted)

-----Original Message-----

From:<redacted>

To: William J Birney (OPR)

Sent: 2013-06-05 15:40:21 +0000

Subject: OPR Investigation

Mr. William J. Birney

Has the Office of Professional Responsibility or the Inspector Generals Office opened an investigation into the serious DOJ leaks that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald talked about in his press conference, as noted in the Illinois pay-to-play article below?

(Name redacted)

-----Original Message-----

From: <redacted>

To: William J Birney (OPR)

Sent: 2013-06-01 19:56:53 +0000

Subject: Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald takes the Fifth

Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald takes the Fifth

http://illinoispaytoplay.com/2013/06/01/former-u-s-attorney-patrick-fitzgerald-takes-the-fifth/

Coming soon

What Blago's lawyers had to say.

29May/130

Hey, Chicago Tribune: Why are you helping Rod Blagojevich blackmail the Feds?

Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

A proven reliable source reports that Rod Blagojevich is attempting to blackmail his way out of prison.

And, there are indications that the feds are in the process of capitulating to Blago’s demands, aided by the collaborative assistance of the ChicagoTribune, in what amounts to a cover-up of a crime.

(Read this email thread from bottom to top)

Top

-----Original Message-----

From: <redacted>

To: Len Goodman

Sent: 2013-05-24 17:24:37 +0000

Subject: Is it a real appeal?

Mr. Len Goodman

It has come to my attention, that there is a strong possibility your client Rod Blagojevich is blackmailing former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and the federal government.

Are you familiar with the interview Rod Blagojevich did with Brian Ross?

(Sender redacted here and below when not otherwise indicated)

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: <redacted>

To: "Kimberly Nerheim" <Kimberly.Nerheim@usdoj.gov>

Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2011 1:08:10 PM

Subject: Fwd: Brian Ross 8-26-2010 Blago threatens

Kimberly

Please contact me about these very important matters.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

----- Forwarded Message -----

From:<redacted>

To: "Randall Samborn" <Randall.Samborn@usdoj.gov>

Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2011 1:00:28 PM

Subject: Fwd: Brian Ross 8-26-2010 Blago threatens

Randall Samborn

Looks like Rod Blagojevich's decision to go the route of extortion might be working for him? . In plain site on ABC.

Do you think if he does not get the deal he wants Rod Blagojevich will tell the public the information Patrick Fitzgerald supposedly wanted the morning he arrested Blago.

More important does Patrick Fitzgerald want information about corruption at the level that Blago speaks of in this interview.

Blago say's some very telling things in this interview with Brian Ross that will help expose the truth. Simple questions, who told John Chase that the feds had a wire on Blagojevich and that John Wyma was cooperating with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Who,what,why,when and where was the decision made to warn Blago ?

Why is no one asking ? That last question was rhetorical, I know why no one is asking.

Randall, lets not forget our discussions about these matters. Maybe this is one of those times that calls for a Special Counsel to be appointed.

Trial or not, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered starting with the ones John Chase has never answered.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Bottom

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: <redacted>

To: <redacted>

Sent: Monday, March 7, 2011 9:54:37 AM

Subject: Brian Ross 8-26-2010 Blago

Pertinent memory refresher.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/video/rod-blagojevich-reveals-jail-activity-11493201 

Pop quiz:

Question. Why did the feds give the Blago wiretap tapes and transcripts to the Chicago Tribune and only the Tribune?

Answer. So the Tribune could lie and tell the public that there is nothing on the tapes that Rod Blagojevich could use to blackmail the Feds.

Question. Why are the Chicago Tribune and their reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen refusing to report what is on the tapes and transcripts?

Answer. They are part of the criminal cover-up dubbed "Chicagogate"

Question. Why are the Blagojevich brothers reevaluating whether or not the public should hear the tapes or read the transcripts that they and their attorneys would not shut-up about in the past?

(Read this email thread from bottom to top)

Top

-----Original Message-----

From: Robert Blagojevich

To: <redacted>

Sent: 2013-05-09 19:10:09 +0000

Subject: Re: Inquiry (your statement)

<Name redacted>

Understand this; everything I've either written to you or said is off the record.

Please respect my position.

Rob Blagojevich

Sent from my iPhone

------------------------

On May 9, 2013, at 1:33 PM, <redacted> wrote:

Robert

If you cannot go on the record stating that it is unacceptable for the Feds to give Tribune reporters and only Trib reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen copies of sealed tapes and transcripts, tapes and transcripts that yourself and Rod were not allowed to keep.

You are making a statement.

Are you sure this is the statement you want to make?

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: <redacted>

To: Robert Blagojevich

Sent:Thu May 9 02:55:54 UTC 2013

Subject: Fwd: Inquiry

Robert

How does Rod's appeal have anything to do with whether you believe the tapes should be made available to others in the Media?

The Feds gave access to the tapes to the Chicago Tribune, and only the Trib.

And, according to John Chase and Jeff Coen, the Tribune can grant Rod and yourself your wish, and publish the transcripts.

All I am asking is: Do you still believe that all the wiretap tapes should be played?

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: Robert Blagojevich

To: <redacted>

Sent:Thu May 9 02:38:16 UTC 2013

Subject: Re: Inquiry

To clarify and be specific, I don't want to say anything publically until my brother's appeal has been heard.

At that point I will reevaluate.

Sorry about the confusion of my previous email. Rereading it, it confused me as well.

Robert

------------------------

On May 9, 2013, at 9:22 AM, <redacted> wrote:

Robert

I do not understand. You and Rod have repeatedly expressed your desire for the public to hear all the wiretap tape recordings.

Help me understand.

Do you still believe the wiretap tapes should be played for the public?

What has changed?

----- Original Message -----

From: Robert Blagojevich

To: <redacted>

Sent:Thu May 9 11:40:36 UTC 2013

Subject: Re: Inquiry

(Name redacted)

At this point what I believe Chase and Coen should do has to remain with me until Rod's appeal is completed.

I hope you can understand my position.

Robert

---------------------

On May 8, 2013, at 2:51 PM, <redacted> wrote:

Robert

Do you believe Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen should publish the wiretap transcripts they received from the Feds that were never made public?

Bottom

-----Original Message-----

From: <redacted>

To: Robert Blagojevich

Sent: 2013-05-07 15:03:50 +0000

Subject: Tapes and Transcripts

Robert

John Chase and Jeff Coen had this to say "no legal ban on us publishing" when asked about the wiretap tapes and transcripts that were never made public.

Tapes and transcripts that they received from the Feds.

Don't you think it's time for people to publicly insist that they do publish them?

Perhaps, if you ask.

 

Conclusion: If the Feds keep their word and release Blago from jail, the Blagojevich brothers will never reveal what’s on the wiretap tapes that the feds don’t want you to know.

Here's a question: Should you trust the Tribune Company?

Particularly now that it’s becoming clear that it works for the federal government.

Answer. I think not!

15May/130

To Trib Editor Gerould Kern: Tear down this wall…

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.

6May/130

Chicago Tribune reporters work for Federal Government

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:

22Apr/130

BREAKING NEWS: Blagojevich Attorney calls out Chicago Tribune reporters

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.

Excerpt:

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.

9Mar/130

Why no Grand Jury? Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase involved in a crime. AGAIN!

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?

20130311-100650.jpg

Does Judith Miller have any thoughts on the subject? We'll ask her.

Developing.......

 

3Mar/130

Stunning development in Chicagogate: Publisher of Blagojevich book “Golden” confesses

 

<< Breaking News >>

Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Jeff Coen and John Chase celebrate the publication of "Golden" with their editor from Chicago Review Press

 

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........