11Aug/140

Chicago Tribune tells another blatant lie for U.S. Attorney

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

The Chicago Tribune is at it again - reporting what it knows to be a blatant lie for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago.

The lie this time involves the Tribune's reporting on habitual criminal and former Rezko mole John Thomas' most recent arrest for fraud. And the underreported story of the premature termination of his probation for a previous fraud conviction.

The Tribune was fully aware that in 2010, John Thomas was sentenced to three years probation for crimes he committed in New York. And the Trib also knew that in 2011, Thomas petitioned the court to terminate his probation after only one year.

Here's the catch: Thomas' probation was officially "terminated without objection".

In other words, the U.S. Attorney's Office was perfectly fine with Thomas being released from probation after serving only one year of his three-year sentence.

However, now the Tribune and the U.S. Attorney's Office want you to believe his probation "expired":

"Federal prosecutors alleged that Thomas began scheming in the Riverdale deal just months after his probation for the New York conviction expired."  read more...

Really?

So after virtually ignoring the fact that Thomas was given a gift of three years probation instead of five years in prison for his crimes...

And then completely ignoring the fact that the feds gave Thomas another gift by allowing his probation to be "terminated without objection" after only one year...

Enabling the Village of Riverdale to gift Thomas hundreds of thousands of taxpayer's dollars...

The Tribune now wants to sell us the blatant lie that Thomas' probation "expired".

Wow! That's brass.

And let's not forget that the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Tribune have a well documented history of telling lies when it comes to John Thomas.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: <redacted>
To: "jskass" <jskass@tribune.com>
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 6:42:03 PM
Subject: Chicago Tribune - John Thomas

To whom it may concern

John Thomas was a mole for the FBI in the case in Illinois against Tony Rezko and others. The Chicago Tribune was aware of the fact and chose not to write a story about him at the behest of Patrick Fitzgerald (U.S Attorney Northern Dist IL). The Tribune eventually wrote a story about John Thomas, however the story they wrote was not accurate. My source at the Chicago Tribune claims that when Patrick Fiztgerald asked the Chicago Tribune to sit on the Thomas story, claiming it could put his life in danger, the Chicago Tribune refused. The Chicago Tribune told Mr Fitzgerald that they were going to run the story anyway. It was only when Patrick Fitzgerald told the Chicago Tribune that if they ran the story that it would affect the Presidential election did the Chicago Tribune agree not to run the story. My source at the Chicago Tribune confirmed this meant Obama. My source also informed me of other information that would be of interest to the people of Illinois that was not being reported in the Chicago Tribune.

The source at the Tribune referred to in the email has since been revealed to have been John Chase.

Truth is - the Tribune and the U.S. Attorney's Office are working their own con.

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4Aug/140

What is the American Thinker website trying to hide about Patrick Fitzgerald?

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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?

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2012/01/patrick_fitzgeralds_rezko_mole_probation

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.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald "Most Dangerous Man"

Richard Perle feeds American Thinker editor Thomas Lifson

Did Clarice Feldman just say “Plamegate was a deliberate plot by Bush and pals to distract from Iraq”?

Murray Waas: Plamegate cover-up is “something that is bigger than Watergate”

American Thinker’s credibility is dissipating quickly

Plamegate Update: American Thinker fails to disclose conflicts of interest!

Plamegate update: Clarice Feldman says Sibel Edmonds misunderstood

American Thinker’s dishonest attempt to discredit a hero

Clarice Feldman believes Dick Armitage is a liar, except….

Much more to come...

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13May/140

Was giving “FBI informant” John Thomas TIF money legal?

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

We all know that giving convicted felon and "FBI informant" John Thomas tax increment financing (TIF) funds was a colossally stupid thing to do.

But the real question is: was it legal?

John Thomas, who is best known for wearing a wire for the feds in the cases against Tony Rezko and Ald. Ike Carothers, is in federal custody for stealing 370K of TIF money from the village of Riverdale IL.

Chicago Sun-Times
Feds arrest former mole in Rezko, Carothers cases
BY NATASHA KORECKI AND KIM JANSSEN Staff Reporters April 18, 20

Smooth-talking felon John Thomas once said the thing he loved about Chicago was, it was “the most forgiving” place for a convicted crook.

He’d better hope so.

The 51-year-old real estate developer — who got a second chance at life and dodged a prison term by wearing a wire against disgraced political fundraiser Tony Rezko as well as former Ald. Ike Carothers — has been up to his old tricks, federal prosecutors say.

Arrested at dawn on Good Friday at his downtown condo, Thomas stole $370,000 from the south suburban village of Riverdale that was meant for the development of Riverdale Marina, a federal indictment alleges.

Continue reading .... Feds arrest former mole in Rezko, Carothers cases

OK. It's no real surprise that a habitual criminal like Thomas would steal a pile of money put right in front of him.

But who in their right mind would put a pile of taxpayer money in front of a convicted felon knowing full well that he would steal it?

That kind of stupidity can't be legal!

After initially pleading not guilty to all charges against him, Thomas has abruptly changed his mind and will plead guilty on May 16.

So what's up? Did Thomas make another deal with the feds? Are there more arrests to follow in the Riverdale Marina scam?

But when feds were asked these questions, they refused to comment.

The U.S. Attorney's office also refuses to explain why it allowed John Thomas' three-year probation from his previous felony conviction to be terminated after only one year.

Is it just a coincidence that Thomas had his probation terminated two years early, which allowed him the opportunity to steal taxpayer money in the Riverdale Marina deal?

Why would the feds allow this?

One thing is for sure. If Thomas' sentence of probation was not prematurely terminated in 2011, his problems today would be exponentially greater.

To start, he would be facing much longer prison time.

Clearly there is more going on here than meets the eye....

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7Sep/120

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald gives the United States of America it’s first Tin-Pot Dictator “Barack Hussein Obama”

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay  

 

The communications posted below are just one example of how Patrick Fitzgerald and the Chicago Tribune worked together to insure that Barack Hussein Obama, aka "The Chosen One" would win the 2008 Presidential election.  Illinois PayToPlay will have more on this soon.

 

All questions and or information related to this criminal activity should be directed to :

 

           Congressman Darrell Issa              ca49interndo@mail.house.gov

                                              

            Dale Neugebauer                           Dale.Neubebauer@mail.house.gov

               Chief-of-Staff  

               

            Washington, DC                                (202) 225-3906 

            California                                           (760) 599-5000

 

 

 

From: (redacted)

To: "David Young" <david_young@grassley.senate.gov>

Sent: Friday, June 3, 2011 8:58:46 AM

Subject: Fwd: My Source (TIP)   

 

Mr David Young 

 

Please see that Senator Charles Grassley receives a copy of this.

 

(name redacted)

 

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

From: (redacted)

To: "Glenn Selig" <glenn@thepublicityagency.com>

Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2011 9:17:04 PM

Subject: Fwd: My Source (TIP)   

 

Glenn,

 

As we discussed, The fact that Rod Blagojevich is not making John Chase and the Chicago Tribune an issue in this case is very telling.  What will be most interesting is.  To what extent is Darrell Issa going to ignore what is happening before he is forced to step up ? 

 

http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/blago/5231-session-1423-blagojevich-home.html

 

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

From: (redacted)

To: 

Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2011 12:59:49 PM

Subject: Fwd: My Source (TIP)  

 

 

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

From: (redacted)

To: "Glenn Selig" <glenn@thepublicityagency.com>

Sent: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 10:43:11 PM

Subject: My Source

 

Glenn,

 

I think this speaks for itself.

 

 

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

From: 

To: 

Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 8:07:17 AM

Subject: Fwd: Or maybe

 

 

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

From: 

To: "Rod Blagojevich" <Rod@seligmultimedia.com>

Cc: "Sheldon Sorosky" <kapsor@aol.com>, "Aaron Goldstein" <aaron@notguiltyinchicago.com>, "Randall Samborn" <Randall.Samborn@usdoj.gov>, "Kimberly Nerheim" <Kimberly.Nerheim@usdoj.gov>, "ca49interndo" <ca49interndo@mail.house.gov>, "Dale Neugebauer" <Dale.Neugebauer@mail.house.gov>, "Justin Roth" <justin.roth@mail.house.gov>, "Gerould Kern" <gkern@tribune.com>, "John Kass" <jskass@tribune.com>, "Jeff Coen" <JCoen@tribune.com>, "Donald Hayner" <dhayner@suntimes.com>, "Chris Fusco" <cfusco@suntimes.com>, "Tim Novak" <tnovak@suntimes.com>, "Dave McKinney" <dmckinney@suntimes.com>

Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:15:23 AM

Subject: Fwd: Or maybe

 

Ladies and gentleman,

 

 My source at the Chicago Tribune (referred to below) is John Chase. The same John Chase that warned Rod Blagojevich that the feds had a wiretap on him.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Concerned citizen

 

 

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

From: 

To: "Chris Fusco" <cfusco@suntimes.com>, "Tim Novak" <tnovak@suntimes.com>, "Carol Marin" <cmarin@suntimes.com>, "Dave McKinney" <dmckinney@suntimes.com>

Cc: "Donald Hayner" <dhayner@suntimes.com>

Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011 7:52:38 AM

Subject: Fwd: Or maybe

 

What about the folks at the Sun-Times ? 

 

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

From: 

To: "Rod Blagojevich" <Rod@seligmultimedia.com>

Cc: "Sheldon Sorosky" <kapsor@aol.com>, "Aaron Goldstein" <aaron@notguiltyinchicago.com>, "Glenn Selig" <glenn@thepublicityagency.com>, "Dale Neugebauer" <Dale.Neugebauer@mail.house.gov>, "Justin Roth" <justin.roth@mail.house.gov>, "ca49interndo" <ca49interndo@mail.house.gov>, "Cheyenne steel" <cheyenne.steel@mail.house.gov>

Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 9:12:10 PM

Subject: Or maybe

 

Or maybe, no one wants the truth to get out ?  

Does anyone want to know who in the Chicago Tribune organization informed me that the Tribune was sitting on the John Thomas (FBI mole) story to protect Barack Obama, at the behest of Patrick Fitzgerald ? Surely Rod Blagojevich and his lawyers will want to know or will they ? Why wouldn't they want to know ?

 

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

From: 

To: "Glenn Selig" <glenn@thepublicityagency.com>

Cc: "Sheldon Sorosky" <kapsor@aol.com>, "Aaron Goldstein" <aaron@notguiltyinchicago.com>, "Rod Blagojevich" <Rod@seligmultimedia.com>

Sent: Monday, April 25, 2011 8:42:04 PM

Subject: Maybe everyone is inept ?

 

Glenn

 

To date, not a single person that has received this string of emails has asked me the simple and obvious question, who is your source at the Chicago Tribune. Remember what we discussed.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxx

Concerned citizen 

 

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

From: 

To: "Glenn Selig" <glenn@thepublicityagency.com>

Sent: Monday, April 18, 2011 8:23:27 AM

Subject: Fwd: FBI director Fitzgerald ?

 

Glenn

 

I appreciate that you are talking to Rod Blagojevich about what we have discussed, however in the mean time, has Sheldon shared this email with you ?

 

xxxxxxx

 

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

From: 

To: "John Kass" <jskass@tribune.com>

Cc: "Chris Fusco" <cfusco@suntimes.com>, "Eric Zorn" <ericzorn@gmail.com>, "Gerould Kern" <gkern@tribune.com>, "Donald Hayner" <dhayner@suntimes.com>, "Dale Neugebauer" <Dale.Neugebauer@mail.house.gov>

Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2011 9:44:29 AM

Subject: Fwd: FBI director Fitzgerald ?

 

John 

 

You continue to be an outspoken fan of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald despite the fact you have been given evidence that should concern you deeply.

Perhaps since you and the Chicago Tribune feel so strongly about the virtues of Patrick Fitzgerald you can ask him a few questions that need answering.

 

1 Who leaked sealed information about the wire tap on Rod Blagojevich to John Chase, and have they been charged for that crime ?

2 Who leaked the information to John Chase that John Wyma was cooperating with the U.S Attorneys office ?

3 Why are the John Thomas files sealed ?

4 Etc., 

5 Etc.,

6 Etc.,

Get answers to these and you will be on your way to recovery.

FBI director Patrick Fitzgerald ?  Pay-to-Play on steroids, he should know.   You should talk to John Chase about this, as you know I have !

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

 

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

From: 

To: "jskass" <jskass@tribune.com>

Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 6:42:03 PM

Subject: Chicago Tribune - John Thomas

 

 

To whom it may concern

 

John Thomas was a mole for the FBI in the case in Illinois against Tony Rezko and others.  The Chicago Tribune was aware of the fact and chose not to write a story about him at the behest of Patrick Fitzgerald (U.S Attorney Northern Dist IL). The Tribune eventually wrote a story about John Thomas, however the story they wrote was not accurate.  My source at the Chicago Tribune claims that when Patrick Fiztgerald asked the Chicago Tribune to sit on the Thomas story, claiming it could put his life in danger, the Chicago Tribune refused.  The Chicago Tribune told Mr Fitzgerald that they were going to run the story anyway.  It was only when Patrick Fitzgerald told the Chicago Tribune that if they ran the story that it would affect the Presidential election did the Chicago Tribune agree not to run the story.  My source at the Chicago Tribune confirmed this meant Obama. My source also informed me of other information that would be of interest to the people of Illinois that was not being reported in the Chicago Tribune.

 

 

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

From: 

To: 

Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2011 8:03:33 AM

Subject: FBI director Fitzgerald ?

 

I have known about this for a while, however I do find the timing of this interesting?  

Could make for interesting confirmation hearings.

 

 

www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0317-20110317,0,5332476.column  

chicagotribune.com

 

If Fitzgerald goes to Washington, will political cockroaches like Blagojevich multiply?

 

John Kass

March 17, 2011

advertisement

Rod Blagojevich awoke after a night of uneasy dreams to find that he had been transformed:

 

Not into just another Illinois political cockroach — one more former governor awaiting a federal criminal trial — but as a WLS-AM morning radio talk show host shamelessly sucking up to his potential jury pool.

 

So as WLS invited former Gov. Dead Meat to use the federally licensed airwaves to politic to the jury and claim his innocence, he dropped the name of famed writer Franz Kafka.

 

And his co-host, wife Patti, chimed in, saying those federal prosecutors in Chicago were really unfair.

 

"The whole thing, it's a story out of Kafka," said Dead Meat. "You know he wrote this novel 'The Trial,' which is just an unbelievable thing about how somebody can be falsely accused of things, and then they just drop a big thing on you, and create a firestorm and before you have a chance to catch your breath, you've been defined a certain way."

 

Dead Meat was referring Kafka's story of Josef K., a young bank official who is arrested by federal agents and tried, though neither he nor the reader ever learn the exact nature of the crime.

 

It's a crazy reference, because Dead Meat knows the charges against him — like trying to sell that "(bleeping) golden" U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama.

 

And both he and Patti know the names of all the prosecutors and FBI agents, including U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

 

"My point is, it's a selective prosecution," Patti told the audience.

 

And she mentioned the story of her husband's replacement, Gov. Patrick Quinn, and his appointment of former state Rep. Careen Gordon, a Democrat from Morris.

 

During her campaign, Gordon opposed a tax increase but lost anyway. Then in January, Quinn needed her vote to pass his 67 percent income tax hike. He offered her an $86,000-a-year job on the state prison review board. As a potentially interesting confirmation hearing neared, Gordon withdrew her name from consideration Wednesday.

 

Quinn and Gordon insisted there was no quid pro quo, but anyone who believed that is a chumbolone.

 

"Why is it OK for Quinn and Careen Gordon to act this way?" whined Patti. "But we're sitting in a situation where you're going to go to trial again for the second time, for something far less concrete, than what they actually did."

 

What Quinn did is contemptible, but at least Quinn didn't have his fingerprints all over Obama's Senate seat.

 

On Wednesday, Patti was less (bleeping) Lady Macbeth and more like a 5-year-old, wondering why she and Rod got caught when everybody else gets to do it.

 

The last time I'd heard her speak was on a TV reality show, "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!"

 

She'd just eaten a plateful of live jungle bugs, perhaps Costa Rican cockroaches, and she was using the tip of her tongue to work them out of her teeth, the way you work celery out of your molars, when she began blubbering about Rod's innocence.

 

It was difficult to watch back then, but she got through it, and enough potential jurors must have seen it, too, because Dead Meat was convicted on only one federal count — lying to the FBI.

 

The retrial is scheduled to start April 20, and Fitzgerald has his prosecution team streamlining the case.

 

And now Fitzgerald might be making a move, to Washington. He's on the short list to replace Robert Muller as director of the FBI.

 

Whether he gets the job or not is something else again. I think Fitzgerald would like the post. Friends of his have been talking about it for years. He's obviously qualified, and he has hunted crooked Democrats and crooked Republicans with equal gusto.

 

But would the Chicago Way White House — with mayoral brother Billy Daley as chief of staff to the president — want an uncontrollable Fitzgerald running the FBI for the next 10 years?

 

Who knows? Billy Daley is approving the short list being leaked out to the media, with Fitz's name on it.

 

"He's clearly the best qualified candidate for the FBI director's post in the country, bar none," said former U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, no relation, who defied the Illinois Combine by installing the independent Fitzgerald in the job.

 

It made them so angry that Sen. Fitzgerald was run out of Illinois politics as a result.

 

"It would be Chicago's loss if Patrick Fitzgerald became director of the FBI," the former senator said. "All sorts of characters in Chicago would be delighted if Patrick were promoted out of town. As FBI director, his responsibilities would be focused on a broad spectrum and he wouldn't have time to focus just on Chicago."

 

Blagojevich was consistent throughout his shameless morning talk show rant.

 

He was the wronged man. His enemies wanted his hide. He was the one who fought on behalf of the people against all those schemers, liars and knaves.

 

But he got the Kafka reference wrong. It wasn't "The Trial" he should have been thinking of, but "The Metamorphosis," which Kafka would have begun this way, if he were covering the trial.

 

"As Rod Blagojevich awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. … His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes."

 

If the best exterminator leaves town, what will happen to all those political cockroaches?

 

They'll multiply. As in the old days.

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17Mar/120

Mission Accomplished: Blago Joins Rezko in the Silence Chamber of Federal Prison

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Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

The crime spree that plagued Illinois, and that was boldly brought to a stop by the sudden arrest of Governor Rod Blagojevich, is now officially over.

Blago is behind bars, and Patrick Fitzgerald’s mission is complete:  Blago joins Rezko in the silence chamber of federal prison where the treasure trove of what they know about Illinois corruption, past and present, has been muted.

Gee, for a war against statewide crime, there sure aren’t many official casualties, except, of course, Illinois’ citizens.

We’ll never know what Blago meant in these audio clips where he talks (in language unsuitable for children) in cryptic terms about the relationship between then U.S. Senator Barack Obama and Antoin “Tony Rezko.”

(Video: H/T Citizen Wells News)

We’ll never know the extent of influence that the international billionaire financier in the photograph wielded over Tony, Blago, and Barack.

And, as soon as the two remaining Rezko Watchers highlighted in a recent piece in the Chicago Daily Observer receive their sentences this spring – unless sentencing is postponed yet again for Daniel Frawley and Daniel Mahru – they, too, will fade into silence, joining Bernard Barton, AKA John Thomas.

In the immortal words of Sonny & Cher…the beat goes on.

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25Nov/110

Chicago Tribune Writes “Top Blagojevich adviser Tony Rezko gets 10½ years”

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Introducing Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic

Tribune reporter Annie Sweeney wrote a nearly insightful piece on a former Governor Blagojevich “advisor” identified in the body of her piece as Antoin Rezko, and in the title as Tony Rezko.  Who is Annie writing about?

Is this the same Tony Rezko who served with Allison Davis and Valerie Jarrett as Barack Obama’s senate election campaign finance committee?  She doesn’t mention that.

Is this the same Tony Rezko who Obama said he only occasionally shared lunch with, but who federal mole Bernard Barton, AKA John Thomas, reported to have witnessed frequently meeting at Rezko’s office where Barton-Thomas worked while wired. She doesn’t mention Obama.

Is this the same Tony Rezko who helped Obama and Michelle buy that Hyde Park mansion near his home in Chicago, helped him expand his yard, helped him…well, you know all that.  She skips all that, too.

Or, was this the former governor’s “advisor” – it’s such a dignified word, “advisor” – who gave former Governor Blagojevich prescient recommendations on competent and knowledgeable persons he, Blago, should appoint to key state committees in order to best serve the tax-payers of Illinois?

Is this Tony Rezko the “advisor” who whispered in Blago’s ear giving timely and clever political advice – cause that’s what “advisors” do, you know – to Illinois’ Chief Executive Officer so that he might act, in all ways and in all things, on behalf of the greater interests of the people of the Land of Lincoln?

The Governor’s Advisor...

 

…and not Blago’s senior extortionist bag man and close friend of the President.

It’s just hard to tell from Ms. Sweeney’s article who she’s writing about.

She wrote, “Rezko opted to enter jail after his June 2008 conviction, but his sentencing was delayed because of the possibility that federal prosecutors would call him as a witness at other key trials connected to the probe of the Blagojevich administration, including the former governor's retrial over the summer.”

Does Ms. Sweeney really believe that this Tony Rezko was ever going to be called as a witness at “other key Blago trials” where, on cross examination, he might have been forced to elaborate on his relationship with Barack Obama and commit perjury when he lied?  Did Annie just move to Chicago from Bulgaria?

For whom does Ms. Sweeney work?  Oh, that’s right – the Chicago Tribune.  A newspaper that’s been covering-up for Chicago’s favorite son for a long time now.

Now we get it.

She also wrote, ”Prosecutors, in a filing Monday, also described how Rezko withheld information from them, undercutting their investigation.”

Sure.  We get that, too.

What’s “shill” in Bulgarian?

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21Nov/110

The Sun Times Asks “How much time will Tony Rezko serve?”

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Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

Natasha Korecki, Federal Courts Reporter for the Sun Times, asked that question in a recent article.

Tony is scheduled, once again, to be sentenced Tuesday, November 22, in federal court. We’re holding our collective breath.

The rest of Natasha’s piece is designed to prepare us for a sentence of “time served.”  Here’s what we’re told:

  • The U.S. Attorney, Patrick “Elliott Ness” Fitzgerald, wants Tony to serve 11-15 years for failing to cooperate. (That’s because Patrick’s what John Kass of the Tribune calls, the Exterminator of criminals.)
  • Tony’s lawyer says that Tony’s “talks with the government” help encourage others, like Lon Monk, to testify against Blago.
  • A defense attorney says that the judge could credit Tony for his cooperation (What cooperation?) even though he wasn’t called to testify against Blago.
  • The judge doesn’t have to follow the prosecution’s sentencing recommendation. (Oh, oh. Brace for impact.)
  • Meanwhile, “Rezko served about nine months in the most restrictive jail conditions at the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center — a Special Housing Unit called the ‘SHU,’ where ‘high-risk’ inmates, including accused terrorists and currently a suspected high-ranking leader of a violent Mexican drug cartel, are held. High-profile defendants or those cooperating with prosecutors are also held there.”  (So now the Sun Times knows where Tony’s been. Who leaked this time? Chase again?)
  • Unidentified “legal observers” say the judge could credit Tony for having done jail time in harsh conditions. (Are you feeling set-up yet?)
  • A former Chief of Staff of former Governor, now inmate, George Ryan says that the SHU “should not be shrugged off.”  (Are you feeling Tony’s pain yet?)
  • Tony also spent time in a Wisconsin county jail (Really?) “…where he cannot go outdoors and has not had any physical contact with family.”  (OMG, such an ordeal for poor Tony!)

This article reads like the storyline for a sequel to A Christmas Carol with Tony playing a grown-up Tiny Tim.  Patrick Fitzgerald is the legalistic Scrooge. The kindly Judge St. Eve releases Tony from the clutches of debtor’ prison and he limps into the sunset – a free man.

Sort of like…John Thomas. Another faux witness to corruption in Crook County, never called to testify.

Get ready for time served. Unless there’s another sentencing postponement. And what a shock that’d be!

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28Sep/110

Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? The Silent Mole & A Complicit Newspaper (Part 5)

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Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

Was Bernard Barton, Jr. relocated to Chicago on a mission to help bring down Tony Rezko and, thereby, shield a young, articulate, African-American politician from his potentially incriminating associations with Rezko? Too conspiratorial, you say? Maybe. Maybe not.

Let’s review the highlights of the Silent Mole, starting with an admission from the Complicit Newspaper.

The Chicago Tribune identified Thomas as a Mole in this May 4, 2007, article written by David Jackson.

John Thomas bought and sold downtown office buildings and helped other property developers secure multimillion-dollar mortgage loans.

But the high-living dealmaker had a double life.

Thomas, who was convicted of federal business fraud in New York in 2004, has been serving as an undercover government mole in Chicago for at least a year as part of an ongoing federal investigation into fraud in the financing of large-scale commercial real estate deals, the Tribune has learned.

Records made public so far do not identify the targets of the federal probe and the FBI and US Attorney’s Office declined to comment for this article.

That same May, a concerned citizen spoke on the phone with a well-known Chicago Tribune reporter.  The concerned citizen was trying to chase down information as to when the Tribune learned that John Thomas was an FBI mole while working in Rezko’s office.  “Thomas” was Barton’s new name in Chicago after being relocated from New York, where he faced prosecution and eventual sentencing for fraud.  (The complete story of Burton-Thomas is well documented and won’t be rehashed here.)

The concerned citizen asked the reporter why the Trib had sat on the Mole’s story since, at least, 2006.  That timeframe was implicitly provided by the Trib reporter when stating that Patrick Fitzgerald warned the paper, a year earlier in May 2006, that outing the Mole would cause problems for the investigation and could prove dangerous for Burton-Thomas.

Then, in a moment of indiscretion, the reporter added that Fitzgerald told the Trib in May 2006 that identifying the mole could also “influence the election.”

Now, the Illinois gubernatorial election came in November 2006, and the national election came two years after that.  To which election was the reporter referring? It wasn’t explicitly stated, but the obvious inference pointed to the Presidential election in 2008. In either case, it’s a curious statement coming from the USAO, as it was conveyed by the reporter.

There are other elements of the Burton-Thomas story equally curious.

Way back on February 22, 2002, then Tribune staff reporter Thomas A. Corfman, who followed the Mole over the years like a bloodhound, wrote this in an article:

Developer Donald Trump has picked prominent Chicago real estate firm U.S. Equities Realty to handle leasing for his proposed mixed-use skyscraper on the riverfront site of the Chicago Sun Times..

The selection was announced as questions surfaced in real estate circles about alleged criminal activity by two members of a small brokerage firm that, with Trump's blessing, last fall did some marketing of the 1.3 million square feet of office space in the massive tower.

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.

According to an affidavit by an FBI agent, the wide-ranging scheme involved credit card fraud, forgery and allegations that the defendants, while running several billboard leasing companies, defrauded restaurants such as Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood, and entertainment companies such as Motown Records and Arista Records.

Thomas allegedly took upfront lease payments for billboards in Manhattan's Times Square and along Broadway, even though he has no contracts to hang the advertising from the buildings, according to the affidavit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago in order to obtain a warrant for Thomas' arrest.

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.

They have not yet been indicted, although a formal charge is expected, said attorney Eugene E. Murphy Jr., who represents Thomas [and also represented Buddy Wilkins when Buddy appeared before the Rezko Grand Jury as a witness against Rezko, and he later represented Tony Rezko while at the Byran Cave law firm.]. "I look forward to defending this case," said Murphy, a partner with Chicago-based law firm Horwood Marcus & Berk. Giordano and his New York attorney could not be reached for comment.

Back when the Mole was entangled with the Eastern District of New York, Patrick Fitzgerald was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the adjacent Southern District.  The two would later rendezvous in Chicago.

So, in February 2002, shortly after Burton-Thomas was relocated to Chicago from the Big Apple, his nefarious past was outed by a Trib reporter, but lacked any hint of his cooperation with the feds, nor reference to his real name.

(So who alerted Corfman to Thomas’s past, since he was arrested in NY under another Burton? And, if Rezko new of Burton-Thomas’ past, what sense did it make to trust him to work in his office?)  

Four years later, Corfman reported again on Burton-Thomas.  His article appearing on November 1, 2006 at ChicagoRealEstateDail.com:

John Thomas, who has done more flips than an acrobat, has tied up another downtown office tower.

A venture managed by the controversial real estate entrepreneur has agreed to buy 20 S. Clark St., an office tower overlooking Chase Plaza in the Central Loop, says Mr. Thomas, who earlier this year formed Chicago-based Morgan Street Properties LLC for his investment activities.

The price is about $54 million, sources say…

In the last two years, Mr. Thomas has bought and quickly resold several other office buildings, including 250 S. Wacker Drive, 105 W. Adams St. and 11 S. LaSalle St. Last year, a Thomas venture bought 318 W. Adams St., a small West Loop office building that is being marketed as office condominiums…

He says he is also negotiating with developer Daniel Mahru, his partner on the 105 W. Adams and 11 S. LaSalle deals., to partner with him on 20 S. Clark.

Daniel Mahru was, as you probably know, a business partner of Tony Rezko.  Eventually, Burton-Thomas went to work in that same office. The Mole was in his designated hole.

Now, jump ahead to February 2008. Sun-Times staff reporter David Roeder elaborated on the Mole’s activity:

But sources said that, for more than two years when he was giving information to agents, Thomas provided a fly-on-the-wall look inside Rezko's real estate operations and his desperate attempts to keep his projects afloat.

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.

Thomas had good reason to help. He hopes to get probation for his own felony fraud conviction in a New York case. And he said he wants to redeem himself in the eyes of business associates and his family.

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.

Why no recording of Blago and Obama?  Maybe because Blago had notoriously loose lips and might say something that implicated the Protected One, Obama.

One month later, in March 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama was subjected to an underhand, slow-pitch softball interview by the editorial board of the Sun Times. The transcript of the interview (no longer available on line) includes this exchange:

Q: In November 2006, you and your campaign exchanged with us written interrogatories. So a lot of the quotes I will give you just come out of those. The campaign said that you probably had lunch with Rezko once or twice a year. You sort of added four or five times, something like that.

John Thomas is an FBI mole. He recently told us that he saw you coming and going from Rezko’s office a lot. And three other sources told us that you and Rezko spoke on the phone daily. Is that true?

A: (Obama) No. That’s not accurate

John Thomas aka Bernard Barton

Okay, maybe the Mole misremembered.  A bad memory might explain why he was never called by the USAO as a witness in the Rezko trial. Or, perhaps, there was another reason.

On June 21, U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo sentenced John Thomas to three years probation. His court records are sealed. His mission accomplished.  And the extent of his subsequent success in Chicago commercial real estate is displayed on his face today.

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