Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Robert Blagojevich is on a book tour trying to sell the idea that former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was using him to secure a conviction of his brother, former Governor Rod Blagojevich.
What Robert fails to realize is that his book, "Fundraiser A", tells a completely different story.
In fact, Robert's book confirms for us that the prosecutors withheld damning evidence against him and his brother, Rod, from the jury and the American public.
Case in point: Robert states in his book that he was playing a "game of chicken" with prosecutors.
Here is an excerpt from Robert's book that proves that to be true:
"Day Nineteen: Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Noted in my journal this day:
'Mike [Ettinger] spoke with [Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid] Schar again this morning, Schar wanting to know if I was going to testify. Mike told him I was. Schar's response was that he had other tapes that haven't been played that he could play if he needed. Mike told him to bring it on. I told Mike I won't testify if they drop the charges against me. That was a nonstarter for Mike, he just looked at me. This means they are threatening to use more tapes to get me not to testify."
Normally prosecutors salivate over the prospect of a defendant taking the witness stand.
Ask yourself this: Why would a prosecutor threaten a defendant in hopes of preventing him from taking the stand?
Why would Robert think the prosecutors would drop the case against him rather than see him take the stand?
Well, Robert took the stand, and the prosecutor delivered on his threat, as illustrated by this excerpt from Sun Times reporter Natasha Korecki's book.
"Rob was convincing on direct examination. Next was cross-examination by Niewoehner, who tore into the pristine image Ettinger created. Rob stumbled as Niewoehner asked about a tape that hadn't been played - a November 5, 2008 discussion. 'If you can get Obama to get Fitzgerald to close the investigation on you, it completely provides you with total clarity,' Niewoeher qouted Rob telling his brother.
Rob testified that this exchange had nothing to do with [Valerie] Jarrett's appointment and that it was instead meant 'in context of what politicians do'. He seemed caught off guard, though, and the tension in the courtroom was palable. If the prosecution could do this to Rob in less than 15 minutes, what would they do to his brother?"
So Robert, the day after getting elected president, you and Rod thought Obama would get Fitzgerald to close the investigation just because that's "what politicians do"?
Really Robert? Don't you mean crooked politicians?
And Robert, do you really expect us to believe that asking Obama to get Fitzgerald to close the investigation on your brother had nothing to do with the offer to appoint Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate seat Obama vacated?
Like they say, let's go to the tape!
Here's a question that Fitzgerald was asked but he refused to answer.
Why did the prosecution not present such a damning recording in their case against Robert and Rod?
They obviously did not want that tape on record because it would implicate other well known politicians who were being protected by Fitzgerald.
If Robert did not take the stand, we would have never known that he and Rod had reason to believe Obama would call off Fitzgerald and close the investigation if Rod appointed Jarrett to the U.S Senate.
But Robert did take the stand and Fitzgerald's office met him head on by using a single quote from the wiretap tape that they are still withholding to this day. The quote the prosecutors used can only be found in trial transcripts due to the fact that they never entered the tape or transcripts of it into evidence.
Clearly both the prosecutors and the defendants in this case do not want the full contents of that wiretap tape to be made public. Thus the "game of chicken" Robert referred to in his book.
By the way Robert, you spent a good part of your book calling Patrick Fitzgerald a liar. While I do not disagree with you on that assertion, I would like to point out that when you say "you beat him at his own game" and you were playing a "game of chicken" with him, that you are in fact boasting that you're a better liar!
Since you like to play games Robert, how about we play a game of truth or dare?
If you won't tell the truth, I dare you to release the full transcript of that November 5, 2008 conversation between you and your brother.
Or would that take away the leverage that you are using to get Rod out of prison?
More to come...
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
The recent arrest of Chicago Tribune reporter Jeff Coen for deliberately causing $1,500 worth of damage to a CTA train has many asking: Why?
What makes a 43-year-old "adult" do such a bizarre thing?
We at IP2P have every reason to believe the answer is very simple: it's a cry for help. Coen is experiencing his own version of the ageless Edger Allen Poe classic "Tell-Tale Heart" and it is taking its toll on him.
You see, Coen is living a big lie, and he fears his secret will soon be fully exposed.
Coen's troubles started when he agreed to fabricate stories surrounding the Blagojevich investigation and consequent trials.
Remember, Coen was the co-author of the article used as an excuse to warn Rod Blagojevich that his friend and former chief-of-staff, John Wyma, was cooperating with the feds and that Blagojevich was being recorded.
From there, Coen sought to cash in on lies he was asked to tell by telling even bigger whoppers in a book.
You might remember that work of fiction: "Golden". You know, the one in which Coen and his co-author, John Chase, claimed they had copies of all the Blagojevich wiretap recordings and that they had listened to all of the them.
Well as those lies have begun to unravel, so has Jeffrey.
The thought of being exposed for writing a book filled with lies has been weighing heavily on Coen's mind. (We know this for a fact. ) And there is a real possibility that Coen has come to realize that being exposed as a habitual liar is inevitable.
The fear of being found out resulted in Coen's obvious mental breakdown, causing him to go ballistic on a CTA train.
Let's all hope that Jeff accepts the counseling that has been offered to him, and heeds the wisdom of another ageless classic, "The truth will set you free", before it is too late and he seriously hurts someone.
Jeff, we hear your cry for help. Now just tell the truth...
Human Behavior Consultant Virginia Clemm Contributed
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Blagojevich attorney Michael Ettinger was caught on a wiretap trying to bribe a cop in order to fix a criminal case in Illinois.
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
John GERVASI, Michael Ettinger, and Charles Soteras, Defendants.
WILLIAM T. HART, District Judge.
The August 1982 Grand Jury returned a seven count indictment against the defendants John Gervasi ("Gervasi"), Michael Ettinger ("Ettinger"), and Charles Soteras ("Soteras"), charging violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1343 and 1952. Gervasi and Ettinger are attorneys admitted to practice in the State of Illinois. In 1977, Soteras was a defendant in a criminal case in the Circuit Court of Cook County, charged with car theft. Gervasi and Ettinger represented Soteras on the car theft charge.
The federal indictment alleges that the three defendants conspired to bribe a police officer, Daniel Furay ("Furay"), to arrange for the dismissal of the car theft charges against Soteras. The defendants have filed a number of pretrial motions attacking the indictment, and also have moved to suppress key evidence in the case. All of the parties have filed excellent briefs in support of their positions. The Court rules on these motions as follows.
Michael Ettinger was caught so red-handed, all he could do was argue to suppress the evidence of the wiretap transcripts in his criminal case.
Well, it being Chicago, coupled with the fact that Ettinger was represented by a team of the Chicago Mob's favorite lawyers - Samuel V.P. Banks, Edward Genson, Jeffrey B. Steinback - Ettinger did escape going to prison.
However, he did not entirely escape consequences.
After a long, drawn-out-battle, the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) had no choice but to suspend Michael D. Ettinger's law license for two years.
ATTORNEY'S REGISTRATION AND PUBLIC DISCIPLINARY RECORD
Public Record of Discipline and Pending Proceedings:
Case(s) below are identified by caption and Commission case number. If there is more than one case, the cases are listed in an order from most recent to oldest. A case may have more than one disposition or more than one component to a disposition, in which situation each disposition and component is also listed separately within that case record, again in an order from most recent to oldest.
Click on Rules and Decisions ("R & D") to access any documents regarding this lawyer that are in Rules and Decisions. R & D contains all disciplinary opinions of the Supreme Court and most other Court orders and board reports issued since 1990. If R & D does not contain the decision that you are seeking, contact the Commission's Clerk's office for assistance. Contact information for the Clerk's office is available at Office Hours.
In re Michael David Ettinger, 86CH0175
Disposition: Suspension for a specified period
Effective Date of Disposition: April 21, 1989
End Date of Disposition: April 21, 1991
Definition of Disposition: Suspension for a specified period reflects a determination that the lawyer has engaged in misconduct and that the misconduct warrants an interruption of the lawyer's authority to practice law during the suspension period, which is a fixed period of time identified in the Supreme Court's order. The lawyer is not authorized to practice law during the period of the suspension.
Two years? Ettinger got off easy!
FYI, Blagojevich attorney Sam Adam Sr. represented Ettinger in the ARDC case.
After his suspension, it did not take Ettinger long to reunite with his old pal, Ed Genson.
In 1993 Ettinger joined Genson and his band of cohorts in representing a couple of their fellow Chicago lawyers who, like Ettinger, had a proclivity to participate in the illegal practice of fixing court cases. Ettinger, Genson, and the fellas represented Judge Adam Stillo Sr. and his nephew, attorney Joseph Stillo in a case that featured FBI informant Robert Cooley as the prosecution's star witness.
U.S. v. STILLO
NOS. 94-2678, 94-2679.
Defense attorney Robert Cooley first met Judge Stillo at a party in 1976. Cooley asked the judge whom he should see to fix a criminal case assigned to Judge Stillo. Judge Stillo, knowing that Cooley was a frequent supplier of bribes to other judges and public officials, told Cooley that he would deal with him directly. Not long after the party, Judge Stillo accepted a bribe from Cooley to fix a misdemeanor case. Judge Stillo met with Cooley before trial and agreed to find Cooley's client not guilty. After the trial Cooley met with Judge Stillo in his chambers. Cooley asked the judge whether $100 was an appropriate payment. Judge Stillo responded: "Whatever you think" and accepted the $100 in cash.
Considering Michael Ettinger's past and his unique set of friends, is it really plausible that Ettenger did not know that Invest Financial Corporation, a company that Robert Blagojevich was CEO of, was investing money for Betty Loren Maltese and the town of Cicero?
Not only did Robert Blagojevich dodge a bullet by not going to prison, so did his attorney.
But the media has shamelessly let Robert Blagojevich and his attorney get away with claiming victim status.
Perhaps it's time to correct that notion..... more to come.
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Robert Blagojevich proclaims to have returned all copies of wiretap tapes and transcripts provided to him by the feds in his and Rod's trial.
But he still has a copy.
That's because one set of Robert's transcripts were not provided by the feds. He made his wife, Julie, transcribe all the tapes. Or so he says.
"[She] never one time wavered in her belief in me and worked real hard in doing transcriptions of the tapes, when I could not bear to listen to them. She would sit there with the headphones on so I didn’t have to listen, and she would transcribe for hours and hours" Robert said.
When asked if all copies of Julie's transcripts were also given to the federal prosecutors, Robert refused to answer.
Of course they weren't.
Credit this slick move to Blago attorney Michael Ettinger. Nice try Michael, but no cigar!
Perhaps Julie Blagojevich will tell us about the recorded conversations of Rahm Emanuel and other power brokers that her husband made her transcribe?
How about it, Julie? What do ya say?
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
The Blagojevich legal team just can't get their story straight. Most notably, they're having a difficult time coming up with a reasonable explanation for why they did not make Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase tell a jury how he knew that the FBI had a wiretap on Blago.
Such a difficult time, in fact, veteran attorney Sheldon Sorosky actually said that if he had called Chase to testify, "They would have just blamed an FBI agent" for leaking the information about the wiretap.
Let's take a minute to fully appreciate what a truly remarkable statement that is for a defense attorney to make.
Clearly Sorosky is at a loss to explain why he did not call the one witness whose testimony could discredit the very people that Blago needed to discredit, namely the FBI.
Good thing you chose not to discredit the FBI, Shelly. Otherwise the prosecutors would have regretted calling FBI agent Dan Cain as their first witness to testify against your client in BOTH of Blagojevich's trials.
Remarkable, Shelly, truly remarkable! Can anyone spell malpractice?
Blago's other legal eagles, Sam Adam and Sam Adam, Jr., have been contacted by IP2P but have not responded. If they have anything to add to Sorosky's explanation just let us know?
As for Robert Blagojevich's attorney, Michael Ettinger, his previous position was that they would have put Chase on the witness stand had they thought of it. But that has now become "I don't recall who John Chase is."
Apparently Ettinger has now decided to rejoin the rest of the Blagojevich legal team in their silence on the subject of John Chase knowing about the FBI wiretap and receiving copies of the sealed tapes from the feds.
When you add all of the above to the fact that the media in Chicago is completely ignoring everything while posting "poor Patti Blagojevich" stories, you can only come to one conclusion:
The feds and Blago have finalized their deal, and you can expect the announcement of his early release from prison very soon.
Oh, and don't be surprised if you hear that WLS Radio has a job waiting for Blago when he gets out.
More to come......
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.
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.