Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn has come out in defense of his "hilarious" position that the phone call Tribune reporter John Chase made to the Blagojevich camp on December 4, 2008 did not serve as a warning.
Zorn's reasoning: Blagojevich would have read that he was being recorded by the feds in a Tribune article the very next morning.
Zorn was asked:
"Do you understand that Robert and Rod canceled a meeting with Jesse Jackson Jr.'s money man, Raghuveer Nayak, due to Chase's phone call?"
"And do you understand they would've canceled that meeting anyway because of what was in the paper that morning?"
So let me get this straight, Eric. Your contention is that John Chase's late night phone call did not warn Blago that the feds were recording him - but that the article the Tribune published the following morning did.
Ok, Eric, have it your way.
However, now that you have reluctantly conceded that the Chicago Tribune did in fact warn Robert and Rod Blagojevich, perhaps you can explain why former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was OK with the Trib's decision.
More to come...
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Robert Blagojevich recently acknowledged that Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase warned his brother, Rod Blagojevich, that the feds were recording him.
Blagojevich emerged in response to Tribune reporter Eric Zorn's ridiculous position that:
"Chase wasn't warning Blago he was being recorded, he was telling him a story was running the next day about him being recorded."
Wow, Eric. Are you joking?
Here's what Robert Blagojevich called Zorn's assertion that Chase did not warn Rod: "Hilarious!"
Keep in mind that Robert canceled his planned meeting the following morning with Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s money man, Raghuveer Nayak, as a result of Chase's late night phone call.
A meeting whose sole purpose was to hammer out the terms of Jackson's purchase of the U.S Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama!
Remember Robert was one of the biggest benefactors of Chase's infamous phone call to the Blago camp on December 4, 2008.
So if he considers it a warning, who is Eric Zorn - or anyone else to say it was not?
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...
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?
(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?
(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."
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Thanks to Barbara Hollingsworth at CNS News, the disinfectant of sunlight is being shined on Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s latest scam involving the ridiculous notion that felons are ‘entitled’ to Presidential Pardons.
Jackson has enlisted former Pennsylvania DNC super-delegate and fellow con man John P. Karoly to set the stage for him.
(CNSNews.com) – A former cellmate of Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. says that the disgraced former congressman “is committed to convincing this President, and all future candidates for the highest office in the land, to take on the ‘Audacity of Forgiveness’” by pardoning all felons who have served their time.
Doing so will “make us all feel better about ourselves as a nation,” fellow inmate John Karoly wrote from “inside the joint” in an eight-page letter to “select media outlets”.
Jackson did a “fastidious job” scrubbing toilets and unclogging drains with a toothbrush at the Federal Correctional Institution at Butner, North Carolina as part of his “personal penance,” Karoly claimed. But “no matter how hard he scrubs, he later tells me that it doesn’t wipe his slate clean.”
“Like the rest of us, he yearns for the forgiveness that has eluded him” which, Karoly added, “Jesse rightly insists is a matter of human entitlement.”
“When you pay off your credit card debt in full, you no longer owe anything. The full utilization of the President’s power to forgive, may be the greatest legacy any President can leave behind,” Karoly wrote in his jailhouse missive.
WMAQ, NBC’s Chicago affiliate, first reported that the station received Karoly’s letter on April 11, accompanied by an affidavit from Jackson authorizing its release. The story was later picked up by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Jackson is seeking presidential pardons “identical to the one President Gerald Ford issued to former President Richard Milhaus Nixon in 1974,” Karoly said in the letter.
But “I suddenly realized that if Jesse’s dream takes shape, as I earnestly believe it will, there will be no contemporary chronicler to tell the world how his ‘forgiveness mission’ was birthed,” wrote the former Democratic National Committee superdelegate who is serving six and a half years at the minimum security prison after being convicted of mail fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.
However, a federal prison official at Butner denied that the former congressman was required to scrub prison toilets, sinks and floors with a toothbrush.
So Jackson has chosen Karoly, a man whose extensive criminal resume includes cheating a charity out of $500K and trying to capitalize on his brother's death by creating a phony will, as the person to chronicle the birth of his latest scandalous endeavor.
Wow! Just when you thought Jackson had sunk as low as he could go after trying to buy a U.S. Senate seat from Rod Blagojevich and then claiming mental illness to escape justice and collect $8,700 a month disability pay while in prison.
But now with the help of fellow con man Karoly he is sinking to new depths by starting a " forgiveness movement" for what these two clowns sympathetically refer to as the "criminal underclass".
Junior really is a chip off the old block. The Jacksons can find a group to exploit in any situation.
Pop Jackson must be busting with pride!
(Editors note: no joke, it's a real book)
What is even more disturbing about this ridiculous "Jesse Jackson Jr. has a noble cause" story is this: The media hand picked by Jackson to break the story of his latest exploitation - NBC, Chicago Sun Times, and AL.com - were all fully aware of Karoly's history as a DNC insider and his extensive criminal record. Yet they all chose not to include those important facts in their "reporting".
Now why would they do that?
Perhaps they heard that Obama likes Junior's new "forgiveness movement" idea, and they just want to be helpful to the cause?
Now that's audacity!
Unfortunately for the Chicago Sun Times, NBC and AL.com, that's not journalism.
Thankfully, CNSNews.com was around for that.
Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic
Sun Times reporter Natasha Korecki continued the paper’s Chicagogate cover-up with her latest article that misleads Times’ readers about the Blagojevich saga.
In a recent piece, Korecki characterized Robert Blagojevich's call for Jesse Jackson, Jr. to be indicted for attempted bribery as a call for Jackson to simply "come clean."
What does "come clean" mean? Confess to his preacher, priest, rabbi or imam?
Korecki now wants Times readers to believe that it was by luck, and not by design, that Chicago was cheated out of the opportunity to learn about Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s.(J.J.,Jr.) attempt to buy the senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.
Attention Natasha, there’s good news:
J.J., Jr. can still be indicted for attempting to bribe Robert and Rod Blagojevich.
And that good news gets better: Robert Blagojevich is now willing to co-operate with the feds and help prove J.J., Jr.’s role in the attempted bribery. Yes, that’s right, Natasha. The time is ripe to harvest the truth.
So, will the Times join IP2P and Robert Blagojevich in their call for acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro to indict Jesse Jackson Jr.?
We await your response. But, realistically, we only expect to hear the sound of crickets.
Because the Chicago Sun Times, and its faux reporters, are complicit in the Chicagogate cover-up as the once-credible, dead-tree news outlet continues to mislead it readers about the Blagojevich saga.
Thomas Barton, Investigative Reporter
Robert Blagojevich has come clean during an interview with CNSNews.com reporter Barbara Hollingsworth. Blagojevich told Hollingsworth that Jesse Jackson, Jr. offered a "bribe" to him and his brother, Rod Blagojevich, for the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.
And, that it's time for the U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Illinois to charge him with that crime.
Well, it doesn't get any simpler than that, folks.
Robert Blagojevich just handed Jesse Jackson, Jr. to the feds on a silver platter for attempting to purchase a seat in the U.S. Senate.
The only question that remains is this:
Will Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder allow acting U.S. Attorney Gary S. Shapiro to enforce the law, and indict Jackson?
We will keep you posted.
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.
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.