1Mar/120

U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald has known of Frawley’s Obama-bribe accusation

Jontel Kassidy, Senior Capital Correspondent

Since at least last January 22nd, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has known of Daniel Frawley’s claim that he gave Tony Rezko $400,000 in cash that Rezko then passed on to U.S. Senator Barack Obama.  We believe, though, that that knowledge goes back much earlier.

In a December 11, 2011 Illinois Pay To Play (IP2P) article entitled “The Fitz Solution to Corruption: The Citizens Report It,” we noted that “While commenting on Blago’s prison sentence, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald repeated what has become for him a common theme: Illinois citizens are responsible for stopping corruption by reporting it to the authorities.”

Along with that article, IP2P posted a video clip wherein Fitzgerald stated that there needed to “be a change in the public’s attitude. People seem resigned to corruption at times and…they’re afraid to say ‘no’ when someone in power asks them for something they shouldn’t. The people in power should be afraid to ask.”

So it’s a fact that the U.S. Attorney has, on several occasions, encouraged average citizens to get involved in fighting corruption.

Well, we found one citizen who did just that, back on January 22nd – six weeks ago. Here’s the email thread the citizen sent.

From: Address Deleted
To: "Randall Samborn" <Address Deleted@usdoj.gov>, "Kimberly Nerheim" <Adress Deleted@usdoj.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:15:44 PM
Subject: Public outreach/safety.

Mr Randall Samborn and Ms. Kimberly Nerheim

I am more than a little concerned by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's complete lack of response to the serious matter that has been brought to his attention below. Mr. Fitzgerald made a very public outreach encouraging people to report corruption to his office. Hopefully he will not disappoint those he urged to risk so much ?

Concerned Citizen

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

_____________________________________________________________________________

From: Address Deleted
To: "Randall Samborn" <Address Deleted@usdoj.gov>
Cc: "Kimberly Nerheim" <Address Deleted@usdoj.gov>
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2012 4:11:12 PM
Subject: What happens when citizens step up?

Mr. Randall Samborn

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has repeatedly challenged the public to do something about corruption in Illinois by bringing information of illegal acts directly to him. Mr. Samborn, while I agree the premise of reporting crime to the U.S. Attorney is a logical step in fighting corruption, I do not underestimate the serious danger those who do are put in.

Need I remind you, it was also Patrick Fitzgerald who acknowledged that his office may be the source for information being leaked to the very criminals he urges the public to inform on. With this in mind, please personally hand a copy of this email to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and ask him to personally send me a response addressing concerns I have about his office and my personal safety. At the very least Mr Fitzgerald can acknowledge the risk I am taking exposing corruption at the highest levels.

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Dan Frawley <Address Deleted@gmail.com>
> Date: Tue, 31 May 2011 08:08:15 -0500
> Subject: Frawely vs Weaver
> To: XXXXX XXXXX <XXXXXXXX@gmail.com>
>
> Hi XXXX
> I think the best way to bring this to the public and media is to fact
> plead
> the malpractice case against Weaver.
> I have discussed this with my attorney's and they are willing to do it at
> the right time and way.
> Instead of a news conference being called like the gay guy did with Obama.
> PUT AS THE GUTS OF THE SUIT THE MEETING AT THE FOUR SEASONS AND THE 4OO
> GRAND GOING TO YOU KNOW WHO AND THE USE OF THE MONEY.
> I would bring this out in the for of a legal action not a personal
> vendetta.
> The media with the right reporters would make sure that was national news.
> When the usual denials are made or the old I don't remember I hit him with
> the second naming names dates and places.
> Punches are always more effective when thrown in combination.
> know we figure out the best timing.
> DAN 

 

And in response, what did the citizen hear back from the U.S. Attorney’s office?

Absolute silence.

11Dec/110

The Fitz Solution to Corruption: The Citizens Report It

Jontel Kassidy, Senior Capital Correspondent

While commenting on Blago’s prison sentence, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald repeated what has become for him a common theme: Illinois citizens are responsible for stopping corruption by reporting it to the authorities.

In the longer video of his comments aired by NBC News Chicago, in response to a reporter’s question (1:16 into the clip), Fitz says (beginning at 1:34) that there needs to “…be a change in the public’s attitude. People seem resigned to corruption at times and…they’re afraid to say ‘no’ when someone in power asks them for something they shouldn’t. The people in power should be afraid to ask.”

So, Fitz’s solution is for citizens who are approached to give cash, benefits and favors in exchange for some consideration by corrupt officials, should run and tell the authorities – the federal, state, county and local police, and the various prosecutorial agencies.

That’s The Fitz’s Solution.  It has several weaknesses.

1.  To whom do citizens report corruption when their trust in the authorities is – to be kind – less than complete?

It’s an exaggerated comparison, but what were the consequences to citizens who reported corruption in East Germany to the Stasi? Only if the corruption wasn’t, in some way, sanctioned by the state, were the consequences anything but negative to the citizen.

2.  Much of the corruption in Illinois pay-to-play shakedowns happens at a small business level.  A three-trucks plumbing contractor submits a bid on a public housing project. The sub-contractor is told that a modest political donation to a particular politician would considerably enhance his chances of being awarded the contract. Suppose it’s a federally funded project.

Is the States’ Attorney’s office going to launch an investigation after the Plumbing contractor reports the shakedown? When billions are involved, what resources will be used to address, say, an alleged $3,000 bribe?  Garden variety graft, events that don’t reach the level of the $14 billion that Blago cost the taxpayers of Illinois, is so widespread that there just aren’t enough policing and prosecutorial resources to stem a crime wave like that underway in Illinois.

3. In a culture steeped in corruption like Crook County, kickbacks and greased palms have been going on for so long, so successfully, and with such impunity that Fitz’s suggestion that the authorizes are ready to aggressively prosecute the crooks that citizens report is flat goofy.

The “change of attitude” Fitz’s preaches has to start with the agencies tasked to enforce laws.

To blame the people is to blame the victims.

The Fitz Solution is like saying that the people of Russia are responsible for the corruption of the Putin regime. They voted him in, after all.

That the Jews in 1933 Germany were responsible for the horror the Nazis delivered on them. They should have reported the injustices to the German Courts.

That innocent Mexican civilians are responsible for the violence of the drug traffickers along the border.  After all, the violence couldn’t happen without the victims’ complicity (and, in some cases, that of the U.S. Department of Justice for selling guns to the cartels!).

It’s patently absurd when a high profile “crime fighter” – or the “Exterminator,” as John Kass calls him – blames the victims.

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!

6Nov/110

Rezko’s Sentencing Recommendations, Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

Thomas Barton, Illinois Pay-to-Play Political Commentator

The Jimmy Hoffa of federal prisoners may be getting ready to finally surface, in the flesh. Talk of Tony Rezko’s imminent sentencing is building. Suppose that means anything, this time?

After 3½ years of self-imposed incarceration, somewhere on the planet, he’s about to surface, according to the Chicago Tribune.  According to another source, Tony “has spent much of his more than 3½ years in jail in solitary, rarely getting fresh air and subject to a diet that has resulted in him losing 80 pounds, according to a defense filing unsealed Thursday.”  Poor Tony.  He’s been Steve McQueen in the 1973 movie Papillon.

Paa-leese.  We’re supposed to believe that Tony has been doing hard time at the…well, where has he been all this hard time? On a military base in Wisconsin playing golf in a light disguise four times a week?  Indoor tennis on rainy days? And where is he now? When will those relentless investigative reporters at the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times be able to ask him their piercing interrogatives?

Tony’s attorneys want him sentences to time served. (Where was that again?)

Patrick Fitzgerald’s office wants him sentenced to from 11-15 years because – get ready for this – he failed to cooperate with prosecutors.  That’s why, we’re to believe, Tony wasn’t called as a witness in the Blago trial. After 3½ years, the U.S. Attorney finally decided that Tony hasn’t cooperated. Geeze, Louise. Buying that requires…a willing suspension of disbelief. (The Tribune’s John Kass will buy it, though. For him, Fitzgerald is the Great Exterminator.)

Sentencing by U.S. Judge Amy St. Eve is set, yet again, for Nov. 22.  Waiting for St. Eve to sentence Tony is like waiting for Gogot. Birthdays pass while waiting. Wanna bet it’ll be postponed again?

But what if it isn’t postponed? Will her Honor throw the book at Tony? Or, sentence him to time served.  Or, maybe 4 months in a federal pen where, for the 3 months he has to put in, he can work on his backhand tennis return.

The best way to watch all this is to pull up an easy chair, get a bag of popcorn and enjoy the show. Cause it’s all theatre, folks.  Tony’s friend Obama is going to pardon him eventually anyway.  After all the money Tony passed his way, Tony deserves some executive clemency. Tony’s mentioned he expects a pardon to two former associates.

Aretha Franklin asked the relevant question about all this…

16Oct/110

Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? Series Summary (Part 10)

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

The first sentence in Part 1 of this series asked this:

“Is the United States Attorney for the Northeastern District of Illinois an intrepid crime fighter, as he’s typically portrayed by most of the Chicago and national media? Or, is the legend of a modern day Untouchable Elliott Ness largely a media-created myth?”

What followed made a case that the Untouchable image of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is largely a myth.

As to circumstantial evidence:

“It means that existence of principal facts is only inferred from circumstances. Twin City Fire Ins. Co. v. Lonas, 225 Ky. 717, 75 S W.2d 348, 350. 

When the existence of the principal fact is deduced from evidentiary by a process of probably reasoning, the evidence and proof as said to be presumptive. Best, Pres. 246; Id. 12. All presumptive evidence is circumstantial because necessarily derived from or made up of circumstances, but all circumstantial evidence is not presumptive. Burrill.

The proof of various facts or circumstances which usually attend the main fact in dispute, and therefore tend to prove its existence, or to sustain, by their consistency, the hypothesis claimed.  Or as otherwise defined, it consists in reasoning from facts which are known or proved to establish such as are conjectured to exist.”  (p. 309, Black’s Law Dictionary, Fourth Edition)

So, what are the facts and circumstances that we know that collectively tend to prove, or sustain by their consistency, the existence of the hypothesis that Patrick Fitzgerald is a politically-driven, not jurisprudence-driven, prosecutor whose image as an intrepid, unbiased crime fighter is a media-created fabrication?

Here are a few headlines from Parts 1-9:

Fitzgerald acknowledged that someone leaked information to the Chicago Tribune, via a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, while the reporter, John Chase, sat mute in the front row of the news conference where the arrest of Blago was described as an effort to stop a crime spree. (Chase has told a source known to this writer that he would not identify who leaked him the information on First Amendment grounds.)

In fact, (1) Blago’s crime spree had, with Fitzgerald’s knowledge, been going on for several years.  (2) Chase has not been called to account for tipping off Blago that his conversations were being recorded by the feds. (3) Eric Holder’s Department of Selective Justice has taken no steps – like that taken by Fitzgerald when he jailed Judith Miller of the New York Times in the Valerie Plame Case – to force Chase to reveal the source of the leak. And, (4) Fitz’s demeanor in discussing the leak in a press conference can be accurately described as disinterested. 

The urgency to arrest Blago was manufactured out of whole cloth. The leak had to originate out of the DoJ. And, the closest outlet for the DoJ to the Chicago Tribune is Fitzgerald’s office. You connect the dots.

In retrospect, we know now that Richard Armitage was the confessed leaker in the Valerie Plame Case.  We also know that Fitzgerald knew of Armitage’s confession before undertaking a long and costly investigation that convicted a key staff member of Vice President Cheney of a crime not connected to the Plame leak. And, that this media event, upon which the foundation of the Untouchable myth was built by the main stream media, was politically-driven. 

The Plame “investigation” boiled down to a surrogate WWF-like wrestling match between two Big Beltway Boys: Armitage representing Powell – Libby for Cheney. With Fitzgerald as the biased referee.  And, it will be so chronicled by unbiased historians in the future.

The arrest of Blago was timed, not to stop a crime spree, or the selling of a Senate seat – since the latter notion is built on the myth that, once Blago got paid for appointing someone, the act was immediate and irrevocable.  The arrest was timed to save Congressmen Jesse Jackson, Jr., from criminal prosecution for bribing a governor in order to receive a Senate appointment. Connect the dots. It was about saving J.J., Junior.

The Mole was planted by the DoJ to contribute to building a case against Tony Rezko in order to (a) help scuttle Blago – who has his own self-destructive gene – and, (b)protect the image of Barack Obama as a Chicago politician untarnished by association with the likes of a Tony Rezko. 

Getting Tony out of the way was necessary to hiding his relationship to Barack. And, keeping him sequestered at an undisclosed location was necessary to remove him from access to the media. But perhaps even more importantly, Rezko was never called as a witness in either Blago trial, yet he was among Dead Meat’s leading extortionists.  All part of concealing Barack Obama’s involvement in Illinois Play to Play. 

By its general passivity, the Chicago media have been complicit in hiding of Rezko. After all, Obama was their guy, too.

In the end, Tony will be sentenced to time voluntarily served – wherever that was – and eventually be pardoned by his longtime friend and financial benefactor, Barack.  (Remember, Eric Holder facilitated the pardoning of Marc Rich.)

The Mole was a big winner in all this. He never appeared in court to testify against Rezko, since his appearance might have led to testimony as to Rezko’s long financial support of the young Illinois, and then U.S., Senator. The Mole is on record as having witnessed the two together in a much closer relationship than Obama has ever admitted.  For his work, the Mole made out like a bandit. New name. New career. New wealth. In a New Town.

In a second Obama administration, Fitzgerald will be rewarded by being appointed the next FBI Director. Or, maybe even soon, he’ll get Holder’s job, if Eric’s connections to Fast & Furious sink him.

This is a circumstantial case.  But remember Fitz’s words:  “I think people need to understand we won't be afraid to take strong circumstantial cases into court." 

To conclude: Three public entities head the list of those responsible for putting Barack Obama in the White House.

  1. The Chicago Tribune, the Sun Times, and the entire Chicago TV media,, for selectively withholding information concerning Obama’s past in Chicago.
  2. Former Tribune political reporter and consultant to Blago during his Congressional campaigns – David Axelrod.  And, the…
  3. U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

This story is far from over.

13Oct/110

Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? The Exterminator’s Catch & Release Program (Part 9)

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

Is the result of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s ten-year, crime-fighting crusade in Illinois the near extermination of corruption?  Or, has it been more about trapping a few big bugs and spraying a catch-and-release treatment on them?

In a March 17, 2011 Chicago Tribune article by John Kass entitled “If Fitzgerald goes to Washington, will political cockroaches like Blagojevich multiply?” Kass bemoans the future of Chicago if Patrick Fitzgerald is eventually appointed Director of the FBI.  Kass wrote, “If the best exterminator leaves town, what will happen to all those political cockroaches?” (Answer: Dear John, They’ll continue as if nothing’s changed, cause nothing has.)

Kass is among the Chicago media types who've succumbed to Fitz idolization driven, in part, by the eventual conviction of Dead Meat at the hands of the Exterminator.  And so Fitz stands watch alone today, in his hands-on-hips-Superman-stance, along that thin line that separates law-and-order from Illinois’ Pay-to-Play.

So, OMG! If the Exterminator moves to Washington, D.C., what will stop the proliferation of other political cockroaches, like Dead Meat? Kass asks. (It’s hard to tell when Kass is being serious versus flippant, since his writing style aims to tease, not confront. It’s both a literary niche, and a survival technique. If you really don’t want to, you don’t have to take him seriously.)

If you were reading Kass’ piece on Mars, you’d think the Exterminator had pretty much wiped out corruption in the Land of Lincoln, Crook County, and the City that Capone built.

Such is the power of the myth of the Intrepid Crime Fighter. Question is: How does it match with reality? In the ten years the Exterminator has prowled the Windy City, spraying for cockroaches, has there been any substantive reduction in their numbers and impact?  Well, lets’ do a body count and see.

The Chicago Sun Times, which doesn’t have quite the simpatico relationship with Fitz that the Trib has, recently catalogued the cockroaches trapped in Operation Board Games.  Here’s a short list:

  • Stuart P. Levine, Pleaded guilty in October 2006 (that’s like 5 years ago) of masterminding extortion schemes and skimming “millions from construction deals the school [Chicago Medical School] gave to Jacob Kiferbaum.” Stu awaits sentencing.
  • Jacob Kiferbaum, Pleaded guilty November 2007 (a mere 4 years ago) of participating in Levine’s schemes.  Jake awaits sentencing
  • John Glennon, Pleaded guilty November 2007 of covering up for Levine and Kiferbaum.  John awaits sentencing. (Is there a trend here?)
  • Steven Loren, Pleaded guilty September 2007 “in the attempted extortion of an investment firm that sought business from the teacher-pension fund.”  Steve awaits sentencing.
  • Tony Rezko, Convicted June 2008. Volunteered to be incarcerated. Disappeared down the Federal Rabbit Hole and hasn’t yet surfaced. Tony has told associates that he expects his friend Barack to eventually pardon him. Anyone want to bet against that?
  • Ali Ata, Pleaded guilty April 2008 to not reporting $1.2 million in income from a Rezko deal, for lying to the FBI, and, as a bonus, admitted he got a well-paying state job at the Illinois Finance Authority from Rezko. Ali awaits sentencing.
  • Abdelhamid Chaib, Pleaded guilty July 2010 of interfering “with the administration of internal revenue laws” in a Rezko business transaction.  A.C. was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay a $50K fine.
  • John Harris, Pleaded guilty October 2009 of helping Dead Meat try to sell Barack’s Senate seat.  Another John awaits sentencing.
  • Alonzo “Lon” Monk, Pleaded guilty October 2009 of mail fraud and scheming with Dead Meat to “get rich off state deals and split the money with Rezko and Kelly.” Lon awaits sentencing. What a surprise!
  • Anita Mahajan, Sentenced to four years of probation in August 2011 and, as the Trib reported, “ordered to pay $200,000 in fines and restitution Monday after pleading guilty to billing the state for drug tests her company never performed.” She over-billed the state $2.1 million. “Anita Mahajan, 60, the wife of a major Blagojevich fundraiser, dabbed at her eyes with a tissue and apologized as she stood before Judge James Obbish to plead guilty to a reduced count of theft of $99,900.”  You’d cry, too, if you got off so light for stealing two-mil from Illinois taxpayers.

One more not mentioned by the Sun Times

  • Joseph Cari, Pleads guilty in September 2005 of involvement in an extortion scheme that aimed to steer state pension business to companies in exchange for campaign contributions to a public official described in court docs as “Public official A [as in Dead Meat].”  In August 2011, Joe – a close friend of Joe Biden – was sentenced to three years of…wait for it…wait for it…yes, pro-ba-tion.  Oh, the state pension fund was for school teachers.

Rezko’s sentencing is pending.  Anyone want to bet against him being sentenced to time served (Where?) and three years of probation?

It’s all part of the Exterminator’s Catch & Release Program for the Cockroaches.

Hat tip: Chicago news humorist John Kass. He’s such a kidder.

11Oct/110

Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? A Fitz Question for the Chicago Media (Part 8)

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

When faced with an opportunity to display their professional inquisitive prowess, reporters from the Chicago dailies generally like to wind-up and lob softball questions to Fitz.

So, maybe they’d welcome a little help framing their queries. Here’s a couple for them…

First a little background: Jack Lavin is Governor Pat Quinn’s Chief of Staff these days. Once upon a time, he served as Blagojevich's director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Tony Rezko recommended him to Dead Meat for the job.  Before that, he was Chief Financial Officer of Rezko Enterprises. That means he handled Tony’s money.  Countin’ it. Movin’ it. That sort of thing.  (Smile for the camera, Jack.)

He’s given some of his own money – a little over $20 grand – to Democrat politicians (much of it to Obama, but also $2K to Jesse Jackson Junior, and $2K to Sen. Barbara Boxer), all through the Big Bundler hisownself, Tony. Hey, not a thing wrong with that.

Given Jack’s past starring role in Rezko Enterprises, maybe some enterprising Chicago reporter might ask Fitz this question:

“Is there any evidence to suggest that, while he was Rezko’s chief bean counter, Jack Lavin moved a $3,000,000 line item from the Panda Restaurant operated by Tony over into his Papa John’s Pizza books in order to help get a loan from GE Capital?”

And then, as a follow-up:

“Well, if you can’t answer that question, or won’t, then who kept Rezko’s second set of books for his Papa John’s Pizza store? And why have we never heard about that?”

Hat tip: C. Mc.

10Oct/110

Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? The Regime’s Undertaker (Part 7)

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

When the Obama Regime wants a story buried who does Eric Holder’s Department of Selective Justice call? Fitz, the Undertaker. For example…

Fitz’s Alleged Investigation into the John Adam’s Project

On March 19, 2010, Newsweek (linked by The Daily Beast) was among the MSM outlets that ever-so-briefly reported that “Holder Taps Fitzgerald for Gitmo Photo Probe.”

“Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has tapped the Justice Department's most feared [reinforcing the Untouchable Myth] prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, to lead a sensitive investigation into whether defense lawyers at Guantánamo Bay compromised the identities of covert CIA officers. The probe was triggered by the discovery last year of about 20 color photographs of CIA officials in the cell of Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, an alleged financier of the 9/11 attacks, say three current and former government officials who asked not to be identified talking about an ongoing case.”

The subject of the alleged investigation was the ACLU’s John Adam’s Project.  Don’t remember it?  That’s understandable. It only briefly popped up on the lame stream media’s radar, and then – presto – it vanished.

FOX’s Bill O’Reilly covered the story at the time.

O’Reilly followed up in this interview with conservative pundit Ann Coulter.


It seems there was, and probably still is, a dispute between the Regime and the CIA. On May 27, 2010, in a piece written by Marc Thiessen for the Journal of the American Enterprise Institute, Thiessen stated,

“The Justice Department reportedly clashed with the CIA over investigating the John Adams Project—with the CIA complaining that Justice did not take seriously enough the threat the ACLU’s actions posed to CIA officials.

The Left is—of course—up at arms over the Miller amendment, calling it a “McCarthyite attack” on the al Qaeda lawyers and criticizing House Democrats for going along with the amendment.”  [Follow the links for details]

That would, of course, be the same “Left” that heralded Fitz’s dogged pursuit of the leaker in the Valerie Plame case, long after Richard Armitage confessed.

The question is: In the last 19 months what’s become of the Undertaker’s dogged pursuit of the truth in the John Adam’s Project?  Answer: Zip, zero, nada. It’s been buried by an administration politically amenable to the project’s objectives – i.e., exposing the identities of the CIA interrogators of terrorists.  Buried by Fitz, the Regime’s Undertaker.

4Oct/110

Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? On Sharing Information with the USAO (Part 6)

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

Patrick Fitzgerald has, on several public occasions, encouraged citizens with knowledge of corruption to come forward and tell his office what they know. It’s only with their help, he has said, that the USAO can clean up corruption in Crook County.

Okay.  Well, here’s a test of that exhortation.

Let’s say, hypothetically, you knew of someone associated with the legal team that represented a former business associate – oh, say, a bean counter (BC) – who’d done work for a high-dollar fund raiser facing possible indictment by a Grand Jury for allegedly being a Bag Man (BM) for a state-level politician.

Now, suppose also, that you learned that this someone made sure that BC (who was scheduled to testify before a Grand Jury as a witness in a complaint against BM) received past due payment for services BC had once provided BM.  Let’s say BC preformed miraculous accounting services.

Now, of course, this payment wasn’t a bribe.* Of course not! Just a late payment for past services rendered that just happened to come in the midst of BM’s Grand Jury saga. Pure coincidence. Read along, nothing to see here.

Now, imagine you knew that another person, a person of note within the U.S. Attorney’s office, had learned of this payment, but brought no charges against that someone close to BC’s legal team, for, what some might construe as…well, maybe not technically tampering with a witness (Title 18 U.S.C. section 1512), but something highly inappropriate.

Now, in this purely hypothetical example, where any relationship to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental, would you pass that information to the USAO and expect anything to come of it? Knowing that office’s proclivity to leak?

Not unless you’d been dropped on your head once and never fully recovered.

Oh, BTW, speaking of bribes, on April 18, 2006, in an article reporting on the conviction of former Illinois Governor George Ryan, The New York Times quoted Fitzgerald concerning bribes.

"People now know that if you're part of a corrupt conduct, where one hand is taking care of the other and contracts are going to people, you don't have to say the word 'bribe' out loud," Mr. Fitzgerald said. "And I think people need to understand we won't be afraid to take strong circumstantial cases into court."

 

Hat tip: John Chase, Chicago Tribune

28Sep/110

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

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.