18Apr/150

Patrick Fitzgerald withheld damning evidence against Robert Blagojevich

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...

21Jul/140

Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase goes on the record: Why he warned Blagojevich about the wiretap

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?

Did you:

(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?

or

(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."

9Jul/140

Chicago Sun Times reporter Natasha Korecki surrenders her integrity to Rod Blagojevich

Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Chicago Sun Times reporter Natasha Korecki has just completely surrendered any integrity she had left as a journalist to the man who once predicted she would sell her soul: Rod Blagojevich.

The Sun Times' latest and perhaps most transparently blatant maneuver to help pave the way for Blago's imminent premature release from prison was penned by Korecki and published in Politico Magazine.

Letter From Chicago

Will Rod Be Spared?
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is in jail, but maybe not for long.
By NATASHA KORECKI
July 01, 2014

It was a warm spring day in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood in 2008 and I was heading with family to one of my favorite brunch places, Café Selmarie, on a Sunday. Walking directly in my path was then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, one of his daughters a few paces in front of him. His security in tow, the second-term governor of Illinois walked with purpose through the section of town teeming with yuppies and young families. His head held high, Blagojevich was wearing a dark Polo shirt and a broad smile.

I hesitated before approaching him, then thought: He’s right here, I have to do it.

He cheerfully greeted me when I approached, not realizing who I was.

The federal criminal trial of his former friend, top adviser and fundraiser Tony Rezko, was to begin the next day. Rezko was facing wire fraud and money laundering charges that included allegations that he used his clout as a Blagojevich adviser in various kickback schemes. I happened to be covering the trial for the Chicago Sun-Times. Did the governor have any comment?

Blagojevich’s face turned cold.

His security guard intervened, telling me to take my questions to the press office. Then, in typical Blagojevich fashion, he brushed his security aside, dramatically stepping forward and declaring he would handle this.

Blagojevich stared right at me.

“Good luck keeping your integrity in your profession,” he said in a tone thick with condescension. Then, pausing for effect: “Really, good luck.”

Continue reading.....

The announcement of Blago's release must be very close at hand for the Sun Times to have arranged to have Korecki submit her latest drivel on the subject of Blago directly to a national publication in Washington DC. read by the political elite.

The main purpose of Korecki's article, titled "Letter From Chicago" is simply to inform them and us that the announcement of Blago's early release from prison is coming very soon.

And that Korecki will be doing the follow-up propaganda interviews and articles to smooth Blago's release over with the commoners.

Therefore positioning Korecki to be the person who helps assimilate Blago back into public life.

Here's how she'll do it: by conducting rehearsed interviews, carefully avoiding any questions that would risk exposing the truth about the extent of the corruption in Illinois, and the deal Blago made for his freedom.

Nothing new, just "The Chicago Way".

We've seen it before with her colleagues Michael Sneed and Lynn Sweet.

Now it's Korecki's turn to carry the water and control the message by conveying a false narrative to the gullible masses.

However, in this case, IP2P is exclusively aware of some comments that Korecki made during the course of the Blago trials that are going to be very problematic for her and the Chicago Sun Times.

Let's see how deep a hole Natasha wants to dig for herself.

26Aug/130

Chicago Sun Times complicit in Chicagogate cover-up

Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic

Natasha Korecki, Chicago Sun Times

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.?

Gary S. Shapiro

 

We await your response. But, realistically, we only expect to hear the sound of crickets.

Why?

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.

19Apr/120

Sun Times’ report on Frawley sentencing in error

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter, Illinois PayToPlay

In an April 19, 2012 Sun Times article entitled “Rezko’s business partner, who wore wire, gets one-year prison sentence,Times reporter Natasha Korecki wrote this:

“The Sun-Times has previously reported that Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to Companion Security in 2005 to train Iraqi security guards. That deal soon fizzled after a regime change.”

Really? If that’s so then why did Colonel David Hunt (US Army, Ret.) of FOX news fame, according to a confidential informant, send this email to Dan Frawley on June 9, 2007?

From: DHunt12xxx@(Address withheld)

To: dtfcompanion@(Address withheld)

Subject: Dan Call Me Great News

Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2007 20:50:56 EDT

Dan, Dewey, just called. Our guy just got back and is going back again on the 23 of this month. Here is what he learned. The Iraq Government considers your contract valid. Your contract is sitting on the Oil Ministers desk to be discussed and implemented by the Oil Committee. We have a guy on the staff of the committee it turns out a Kurd.

The bad news is that the Oil Committee has not acted on anything in two years....typical for Iraq.

Our guy is going back to try to get the committee to get this started.

I am very surprised and happy for you. I would have thought it was dead in the water.

David

The “Dewey” mentioned in the email is probably Duane R. Clarridge, who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for over two decades.  Read about him in the New York Times here.

Both Hunt and Clarridge were contacted by email in mid-March for comment, but have not responded.

Doesn’t sound like the deal “fizzled” in 2005, as the Sun Times reported.  According to the email above, as of June 9 2007 the Iraqi government considered the contract, all 17 pages of it, signed on April 18, 2005 by Frawley, “Chief Executive Officer Operations” for Companion Security, and Faris Al-Bayati, “Security Consultant for the [Iraqi] Ministry of Electricity,” still “valid”.

Also, the Sun Times reported that:

“’It’s not clear to me why this took such a long time,’ {Judge] Guzman said. He called it ‘fundamentally unfair’ to charge someone, give time to rehabilitate, then have them serve their punishment. Guzman ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation and to serve time in a facility that has mental health services.”

Guzman is a judge in the federal court that repeatedly postponed Frawley’s sentencing, dealt with him, according to Guzman, in a “fundamentally unfair” manner, and now the judge says he doesn’t understand how that happened! Really?

It’s as though you go to a fine restaurant – your meal comes late, cold, and bad tasting – and the top chef comes out of the kitchen wearing his tall white hat and says, “Gee, it’s just not clear to me how this happened.”

Lastly, there’s that nagging question of how the Sun Times got access to a sealed law suit allegedly filed by Frawley against the McMahons.  Who leaked it, and why?  And what are the consequences for leaking a sealed court document?

At Illinois PayToPlay, we’re guessing there are no consequences.

 

 

21Nov/110

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

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!