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...
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 -----
To: "jskass" <email@example.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.
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Question: What is the American Thinker trying to hide by taking down articles it published years ago?
Answer: The truth about former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
Recently, former FBI mole and convicted felon John Thomas was arrested for stealing money from Illinois taxpayers.
The only reason that Thomas was able to abscond with taxpayer money this time was because he was no longer on probation.
And the reason he was no longer on probation was because the U.S. Attorneys Office allowed his three-year probation for previous financial crimes to be abruptly terminated after just one year.
As luck would have it for Thomas, the premature termination of his probation came just in time for him to be awarded a multi-million dollar taxpayer funded development contract from the Village of Riverdale, Illinois.
And as anyone with a brain could have predicted, Thomas stole that money too.
Let's hear it for Fitzgerald and his crack team of crime fighters at the U.S. Attorney's Office Northern Dist. Illinois for that brilliant bit of law enforcement.
So now ask yourself this:
Question: Why would the American Thinker remove the following article from its website after two years just right after it became known why Thomas' probation was terminated two years early?
January 12, 2012
Patrick Fitzgerald's Rezko Mole Probation Sentence Terminated Early
By Lee Cary & Marty Watters
The New York felon who U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald wired against Chicago's Tony Rezko got three years probation that ended two years early.
To refresh your memory concerning the mole named John Thomas: in the late 1990s, Bernard T. Barton, Jr. had a billboard business in New York where he rented space on billboards he didn't own or operate. That's illegal.
He defrauded customers out of $350,000, and he used his father's Social Security number to get an American Express business account, where he charged $140,000. Facing a significant jail sentence, he offered to work for the feds. They agreed. His sentence was delayed for about a decade while he cooperated with the FBI.
In 2000, he moved to Chicago, where he became "John Thomas," working undercover for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office.
He eventually became a close business associate of Tony Rezko.
On May 4, 2007, Thomas' undercover identity was revealed by Thomas A. Corfman, a former reporter for the Chicago Tribune, in an article in Crain's ChicagoBusiness.com.Corfman, who had recently rejoined Crain's, wrote:
"A former New Yorker has been conducting an undercover sting investigation for federal prosecutors while working in the Chicago commercial real estate industry, according to sources familiar with the investigation and documents in the man's own federal criminal fraud case."
The next day, May 5, 2007, Tribune staff reporter David Jackson followed up with an article that reported further on Thomas' undercover activities. Wonder how the Trib could be so quick to follow up on Corfman's outing of Thomas? Here's how:
The Trib had known of Thomas' mole role for a year. In his May 5 piece, Jackson reported:
"When a Tribune reporter discovered that Thomas was acting as a federal operative in May 2006, U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald took the unusual step of asking senior editors at the paper to refrain from publishing a report that would expose the ongoing probe. Fitzgerald offered no specifics but said an article would derail an important investigation and put people in serious danger of harm."
By the way, there's no indication that Fitzgerald, who knew the identity of the leaker of Valerie Plame's alleged identity as a CIA operative before he began his investigation, ever went after the leaker who outed Thomas to the Trib in 2006. If breaking Thomas' cover in 2006 could have put people in "serious danger," why wouldn't it have done so in 2007?
Back to the narrative:
On February 8, 2008, the Chicago Sun Times reported (emphasis in original):
"For the first time, the FBI "mole" who's expected to be a key prosecution witness against indicted developer and political fund-raiser Tony Rezko is talking. ...
Sources said Thomas also logged frequent visits to Rezko from Gov. Blagojevich and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Blagojevich and Obama were among the many politicians for whom Rezko raised campaign cash. Neither has been charged with any wrongdoing. ...
Sources said Thomas helped investigators build a record of repeat visits to the old offices of Rezko and former business partner Daniel Mahru's Rezmar Corp., at 853 N. Elston, by Blagojevich and Obama during 2004 and 2005. ...
Sources said the government had him wear a hidden wire to record conversations with a Chicago alderman -- but that he did not record Blagojevich or Obama."
Despite the Sun-Times' prediction, Thomas was not called to testify at Tony Rezko's trial. He was the Silent Mole.
On June 23, 2010, writing for ChicagoRealEstateDaily.com, Corfman, still keeping tabs on Thomas-Barton, reported:
"U.S. District Court Judge Elaine Bucklo on Monday gave three years probation to Mr. Thomas, who was indicted under the name Bernard T. Barton Jr., court records show.
Mr. Thomas pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge, which carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison."
In a January 3, 2012 email, Randall Samborn, spokesperson for Fitzgerald's office, stated that Thomas' three-year probation was terminated in June 2011, after one year. The silent Mole is now completely free.
Today, John Thomas is a commercial real estate broker in Chicago.
Meanwhile, a government motion that describes Thomas' undercover activities is sealed. According to Samborn, that's not unusual when records contain "information about non-public law enforcement matters."
There's no indication that the Trib, which went to great lengths to get the sealed divorce records of Jack and Jeri Ryan opened in 2004, against both Ryans' wishes, shows any interest in getting Thomas' sealed file opened.
Ryan was the initial GOP candidate in the race against Barack Obama for a U.S. Senate seat representing Illinois -- that is, until his divorce file was pried opened by efforts led by the Trib, where David Axelrod was once the youngest political editor ever.
Here's a final head-scratcher:
Way back on February 22, 2002, Corfman, then a reporter for the Tribune, in an article focused on Donald Trump's efforts to retain a firm to "handle leasing for his proposed mixed-use skyscraper on the riverfront site of the Chicago Sun Times," wrote:
"John Thomas, a partner in Chicago-based Carnegie Realty Partners, and a Carnegie employee, Louis Giordano of New York, were arrested last year in connection with an alleged fraud scheme that took place over five years in New York[.] ...
Thomas and Giordano are free on bond, according to court records. The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York would not comment on the case."
What? Rezko let someone whom the Trib had reported as having been arrested in New York in the early 2000s, who then resurfaced in Chicago, get close to him? Didn't Tony read the papers? And where is there any mention of Thomas's real name -- Bernard T. Barton, Jr.? Wouldn't that name, and not "John Thomas," have been in his New York criminal records?
The more we know about the Rezko Mole, the more we realize that there's a lot we don't know.
Answer: Because influential friends of the American Thinker now fear that articles like that will lead to the public knowing what Fitzgerald was really doing in Chicago. And just how cozy his relationship with the George W. Bush administration really was.
Much more to come...
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase went on record saying that the reason he made the late night phone call warning Rod Blagojevich that federal agents were recording him was because he "did not want to get scooped on the story".
Chase's ridiculous statement made it very clear that he was not expecting to be asked any common sense follow-up questions.
Big mistake, John!
Keep in mind that the Tribune had been cooperating for 2 months with U.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office and had agreed not to run a story about the wiretap on Blagojevich.
But when Chase was asked what happened on Dec. 4, 2008 for the Tribune to abruptly change from cooperating with the feds to exposing their wiretap, he was at a loss to give a coherent answer.
Chase was then asked if he or anyone else at the Tribune called Patrick Fitzgerald or anyone else at the U.S. Attorney's Office to let them know that the Tribune was going to expose their wiretap that night?
He was stumped, and refused to answer this simple yes or no question.
Here is why Chase could not answer that particular question.
If Chase had called Patrick Fitzgerald and informed him that the Tribune was now going to expose the feds' wiretap on Blago, wouldn't Fitz try to convince the Trib to wait just one more day?
After all, Blagojevich's brother, Robert, was scheduled to meet with Raghuveer Nayak, Jesse Jackson Jr's money man, to discuss the terms of Jackson's purchase of Barack Obama's U.S Senate seat the very next day.
Blagojevich and Jackson would both have been caught red-handed if Chase had not made that call warning Blago.
On the other hand, if Chase had not called the prosecutors office Fitzgerald would have been justifiably furious at the Tribune for derailing the biggest case of his career.
Instead, Fitzgerald thanked the Tribune for its cooperation, and later gave Chase and Jeff Coen access to the sealed wiretap tapes and transcripts even though the two Trib reporters blew his wiretap out of the water.
All indications are that Fitzgerald was quite OK with Chase warning Blago that night. But obviously Chase can't tell us that.
Even more telling: Chase did not deny that he knew Robert Blagojevich and Nayak were going to meet the next day before he made that late night phone call.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Chase is having a difficult time keeping track of his lies. In his book, "Golden", he contradicts himself by saying that he was chosen by Tribune editors to make the phone call to Blago.
So which is it, John?
(A) make the call to inform Blago that the feds' were recording him because you wanted to be remembered as the reporter who blew Fitzgerald's case?
(B) make the call because your editors who had been cooperating with Fitzgerald told you to?
It's the simple questions that often prove to be the most difficult for liars to answer.
When Chicago Sun Times reporter Natasha Korecki was asked why she was not asking these questions, she replied: "No reporter wants to make another reporter look bad."
Even when it means not reporting the truth.
Wow! "Only in Chicago."
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
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.
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....
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
We told you in September 2012 that Obama associate Daniel S. Mahru would receive a sentence of probation instead of jail time for his silence.
After delaying the inevitable for 18 months, the U.S. Department of Justice has proven IP2P right once again by sentencing Mahru to probation.
Like we said in 2012:
DoJ silences Obama associate Daniel S. Mahru with his freedom
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay
Illinoispaytoplay.com (IP2P) has learned that Daniel S. Mahru, former business partner of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, made a deal with the Department of Justice (DoJ) for his silence.
IP2P is the first to report that on, October 4 2012, Daniel S. Mahru will receive probation at his sentencing hearing. IP2P has also learned that this is being done to insure Mahru will not speak of crimes, of which he has knowledge, that implicate Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Allison Davis, Tony Rezko and others. (Remember Tony recently saying he committed crimes for which Fitzgerald did not charge him.)
IP2P is also investigating the circumstances surrounding meetings that took place where Daniel T Frawley and Daniel S Mahru (both convicted felons) met with author Jerome Corsi in Chicago to discuss secret meetings between Barack Obama, Nadhmi Auchi, Tony Rezko, (now Governor) Pat Quinn, and others.
Mahru is unwilling to talk about what was discussed at those meetings. Could that have anything to do with his probation deal?
The DoJ and (now former) U.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald protected Eric Holder, Barack Obama and a host of other criminals that occupy high offices in our state and federal government.
Brenda J Elliot at rbo2.com recently posted an article suggesting how important Mahru’s silence is to the DoJ.
Where's that special prosecutor when you need him?
The real question is why announce Mahru's probation now?
Well, because it's time to tie up all those loose ends.
So, the only announcement left that Eric Holder's Dept. of Justice needs to make is Rod Blagojevich will be released early from prison.
In other words, it's time to complete the "deal" that will insure Blago's continued silence.
It's the Chicago way.
And remember, the Chicago way is not just "who you know". It's also "what you know about who".
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
This may come as no surprise, but Rod Blagojevich's get-out-of-jail deal not only involves the federal prosecutors and his defense team, it also included the direct involvement of the Chicago Tribune.
That's because, as part of his deal to get out of prison, Rod Blagojevich agreed to let Chicago Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen lie to the public about the wiretap tapes that put him there.
Due to some excellent investigative reporting by Barbara Hollingsworth, who now writes for CNS News, we know that the feds gave Chase and Coen copies of court-sealed tapes and transcripts from the Blagojevich case.
Gee, why would the FEDS do that?
Simple. Chase and Coen were instructed to tell the public that they listened to all the sealed tapes and found nothing interesting on them.
We know differently because Blago was caught on tape talking to some of the top power brokers in the country, including Obama and his chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel.
So the real question you must ask is:
Why would Rod Blagojevich and his lawyers, who knew very well the explosive contents of the conversations caught on those tapes, allow Chase and Coen to lie about them?
Facing 14 years in federal prison, Blagojevich should have dragged Chase and Coen in front of Judge Zagel and made them tell the court who gave them tapes and transcripts that he had placed under seal. But Blago didn't.
The $64k question is why?
Blago's attorney, Sheldon Sorosky, has confirmed that there is and never was anything stopping Blago from telling the public what is on the tapes, which he insist to this day prove his innocence.
So why did Blago and his attorneys let Chase and Coen's public proclamation that the contents of the sealed tapes confirm his guilt go unchallenged?
And why is Blago pretending he wants the tapes to be unsealed when he is completely ignoring the fact that the Chicago Tribune claims to have copies?
More importantly, why are the feds insisting the tapes stay sealed nearly 2 years after they gave copies to the two Chicago Tribune reporters-who have refused to make them public?
What possible reason could Chase and Coen have not to release the transcripts?
The answer is that Chicago Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen are lying to the public, the feds put them up to it, and Blago agreed to go along with the deception as part of his get-out-of-jail deal.
Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter
Rod Blagojevich continues to insult the people of Illinois. He obviously thinks we are stupid.
That is the only way to explain Blago's ridiculous behavior when it comes to the subject of federal wiretap recordings in his case.
Here's the latest:
Rod Blagojevich's attorney's recently filed a motion objecting to prosecutors' request to have the tapes continue to remain under seal.
No kidding, Blago apparently thinks that the people of Illinois will believe the fairytale that he actually wants the tapes and transcript to be made public.
Rod, let me try to put this delicately for you.
In a pigs eye! We already know that there is not a snowball's chance in hell that you want those tapes in the public domain.
Because if you did, your lawyers would be filing motions to drag Chicago Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen into court to explain who gave them copies of tapes and transcripts that were under court seal.
And Rod, you and your attorneys sure as hell would not have just sat there silently as Chase and Coen told your potential jury pool that the contents of the "sealed tapes and transcripts" prove your guilt rather than your innocence.
Which is exactly what they did while touring Illinois promoting their book, Golden.
In addition, Blagojevich's attorney, Sheldon Sorosky, has admitted that there is nothing legally stopping the former governor from revealing to the public the full details of conversations that were captured on tape. But so far Blago has chosen not to do so.
However, we know for a fact that he has been using the tapes to blackmail his way out of prison.
We also know that Blago, the prosecutors, and an untold number of other miscreants want the tapes to remain sealed forever.
So Rod, contrary to what you think, we are not that stupid. Either drag Chase and Coen into court and start telling us what is on those tapes, or shut the hell up about them!
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
American Thinker contributor Clarice Feldman came up with a stunning justification for her hit piece on Sibel Edmonds' credibility.
After she was criticized for failing to provide any facts or references to support her public declaration that FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds is not credible, Feldman finally offered this journalistic gem:
"p to p has no secret info to my knowledge. As I recall the investigation of Sibel's charges was mixed--She was found credible respecting claims of the operation of the FBI's Arabic translation group. Not so with her assertions that a variety of high govt officials were engaged in treasonous stuff with Turkey. As to those things I thing she misunderstood what she had overheard"
So, according to Clarice Feldman, the woman who testified before the 911 Commission and had state secrets privilege invoked on her twice, simply "misunderstood what she overheard" on the FBI wiretap tapes.
Wow, thanks for clearing that up for us, Clarice.
Now if you don't mind, just tell us the correct translation of what is on the FBI wiretap tapes that Edmonds "misunderstood".
And please show us where DoJ Inspector General Glenn Fine says Edmonds is not credible as it pertains to "her assertions that a variety of high govt officials were engaged in treasonous stuff with Turkey" in his unclassified report.
Because we can't find that in the report. Or anywhere else for that matter.
Unless of course Clarice received a copy of the classified report. Well, did you Clarice?
But Feldman is right about one thing: "Plamegate" was a hoax. However, she is not telling the truth about the who, what, why, when, and where of the hoax. Or the more accurate description - disinformation campaign.
And now Feldman is continuing the disinformation campaign by quoting from a new book by John Rizzo, a CIA attorney and self described friend of Patrick Fitzgerald.
Will get back to you on that one......more to come...
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
CNS News understands that the real story in the Blagojevich saga is not Rod Blagojevich, it's former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
Rod Blagojevich is just another crooked politician who under normal circumstances in Illinois would never have seen the inside of a courtroom, much less a jail cell.
However, a distraction was needed to cover up crimes the Bush administration was committing, and to clear the path for Barack Hussein Obama to lead the next puppet administration.
You heard right, Fitzgerald was covering up crimes for both Bush and Obama.
Since Fitzgerald and his partners in crime (including the media) were successful, it is now time to let Blagojevich out of jail before he snitches on his fellow criminal government pals.
CNS News recognizes that although Blagojevich is guilty and belongs in jail, in the big picture Blago is just a flea on an elephant's ass.
If you really want to know who the big time criminals are, focus on Patrick Fitzgerald and what he has done. He will lead you right to them. Don't be distracted again!
High honors to Barbara Hollingsworth at CNS News, very astute.
Read CNS article here: 2014 Prediction: A 'Get Out of Jail' Card for Rod Blagojevich