Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

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Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby nathan28 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:53 pm

He pled not guilty. Is a stalling tactic? Flooding the jury with evidence? A bargaining chip? Does he know something damning is on the tapes?

http://buelahman.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/freaky-sex-friday-rod-aint-taking-the-rod/

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2010/02/11/blagojevich_laying_down_the_gauntlet?mode=PF

Blagojevich ‘laying down the gauntlet’

February 11, 2010

CHICAGO - Ousted governor Rod Blagojevich pleaded not guilty yesterday to revised federal corruption charges and challenged prosecutors to allow jurors to hear all of the FBI’s recordings of his telephone conversations.

Sounding combative after the brief hearing, Blagojevich told reporters he would not ask US District Judge James B. Zagel to prevent jurors from hearing the wiretaps of conversations in which prosecutors say he schemed to sell or trade President Obama’s former Senate seat.

“Let me cut right to the chase, today I’m laying down the gauntlet,’’ Blagojevich said.

He challenged the government to play all of the roughly 500 hours of recordings during the trial, slated to start June 3.

“I’m not just going to talk the talk, I’m going to walk the walk,’’ he said. “Play the tapes, play all the tapes.’’

Blagojevich’s lawyers contend that a full airing of the recordings would establish his innocence.

Associated Press
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby Simulist » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:03 pm

I'm actually glad to see this. Would anyone really be surprised if there were damning evidence on those tapes against other powerful people or interests the FBI is beholden to? I sure as hell wouldn't be.
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby justdrew » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:46 pm

I still don't believe he's guilty of anything... just standard legislative horse-trading, I'll vote for what you want if you vote for what I want. That's always been the way it works, now in this one case, that is supposed to be criminal?

this case has been very strange since day one. Remember, day one came ONE DAY after he pulled state business from a big bank in support of locked-out unpaid workers. Next day.... boom.

All the while... prosecutors been leaking stuff big time, so as to prejudice everyone against him. Even now, ask anyone who knows the name, they think he must be guilty. Based on nothing but leaked and other bogus info released buy the prosecutors. What is the mantra they say in most every other case, "we can not comment on pending litigation/ongoing investigation" but in this case... they're fraking magpies.

So... if my theory is right and this case was leaked and brought to trigger his resignation (which very unexpectedly didn't work) now the prosecutors are being forced to make a real case, unexpectedly. Probably they expected him to resign and plead no contest in return for leniency. but that didn't happen. So the other question, if this case is revenge for the bank thing... where did all these communications intercepts come from? Hello? These intercepts are probably the result of the same "on-going investigation" that is run against EVERY governor, mayor, senator and representative. Should the need to use them arise, some dates are filled in on forms and suddenly the "investigation" has a history. If the Pol plays nice and he or she doesn't need to be destroyed, nothing ever happens.
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby 82_28 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:01 pm

I most certainly do not know any of the salacious ins and outs of this situation. But let me tell you, heretofore honest democrats have been slandered by all manner of techniques in order to silence an entire younger generation of folks who might have run for office. And as we know, or as my good and old school liberal grandma taught me, the road to hell is paved with republicans. There is nothing they do that is honest. Dems now are in the same boat.

It was a triple or even quadruple tiered effort in order to get the dems to shut up.

Clinton was an awesome catch. A simulated patsy. Meant to play on the simulated family values crusade with his Monica Lewinsky "snafu". It was probably all made up. Family Values are a double bind when administered by right wing operatives. The goal was to never weaken the democrats nor strengthen the republicans. It was to do away with the middle class altogether -- behind the guise of family values. As any good mafia movie will display, one must have examples. Right or wrong -- examples are made.

Whilst said investors in republican family values also invested in the breakdown of language, the dilapidation of health, food quality, fox news, wars. Oh shit! Family Values = War and support for our "servicemen and women". That's a good one. And on and on and on it goes. Anyhoo. . .
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby justdrew » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:14 pm

justdrew wrote:I still don't believe he's guilty of anything... just standard legislative horse-trading, I'll vote for what you want if you vote for what I want. That's always been the way it works, now in this one case, that is supposed to be criminal?

this case has been very strange since day one. Remember, day one came ONE DAY after he pulled state business from a big bank in support of locked-out unpaid workers. Next day.... boom.

All the while... prosecutors been leaking stuff big time, so as to prejudice everyone against him. Even now, ask anyone who knows the name, they think he must be guilty. Based on nothing but leaked and other bogus info released buy the prosecutors. What is the mantra they say in most every other case, "we can not comment on pending litigation/ongoing investigation" but in this case... they're fraking magpies.

So... if my theory is right and this case was leaked and brought to trigger his resignation (which very unexpectedly didn't work) now the prosecutors are being forced to make a real case, unexpectedly. Probably they expected him to resign and plead no contest in return for leniency. but that didn't happen. So the other question, if this case is revenge for the bank thing... where did all these communications intercepts come from? Hello? These intercepts are probably the result of the same "on-going investigation" that is run against EVERY governor, mayor, senator and representative. Should the need to use them arise, some dates are filled in on forms and suddenly the "investigation" has a history. If the Pol plays nice and he or she doesn't need to be destroyed, nothing ever happens.


and neither did the Jury (more or less). Only one count, "convicted on Tuesday of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation." and I bet he get's off of that on appeal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/18/us/18jury.html

although his torments are not over they get to re-try him for some reason, why doesn't double-jeopardy apply?
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby stefano » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:59 am

He challenged the government to play all of the roughly 500 hours of recordings during the trial, slated to start June 3.
Or he wants to drag out the trial? Stay at home a little while longer? 500 hours will take at least four months to listen to.
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby justdrew » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:46 pm

Rod Blagojevich Hints That Feds Were After Barack Obama
By MATTHEW MOSK and RHONDA SCHWARTZ

Aug. 20, 2010

Former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich recognizes that daunting challenges await as prosecutors prepare to mount a new effort to convict him on corruption charges, but he told ABC News Friday he sees a triumphant political comeback in his future that will be no less dramatic than the one pulled off by Winston Churchill.

"I'm not ruling out doing something I've spent my whole adult life doing," Blagojevich said when asked about a possible return to politics. "I believe some of the greatest stories in history are some of the great comebacks. You think about Winston Churchill, I mean he spent years in the political wilderness & . If Churchill can comeback from something like that, when I'm vindicated, I certainly don't write myself off."

Blagojevich sat down with ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross Friday as he embarked on a media tour aimed at recovering his reputation in the aftermath of a (mostly) favorable courtroom verdict a jury this week found him guilty on only one of 24 counts, lying to federal agents. The panel could not find agreement any of the corruption charges, including most sensational government claim, that he attempted to cash-in the senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama for a new job or for campaign contributions.

The now famous Chicago pol-turned-reality TV star -- known better as "Blago" -- spent the 80-minute interview casting himself in the role of the persecuted David. Goliath, in this telling, was a team of federal prosecutors that remains hell-bent on collecting the scalp that sits under his generous mop of thick brown hair.

"This is a person determined to get his trophy," he said of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Blagojevich told ABC News that shortly after his 2008 arrest, investigators tried to convince him to offer damaging information on "folks in higher places" in exchange for lenience. Blagojevich said that Obama, even more than himself, had a longstanding, close association with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, the Chicago real estate developer who had become the subject of his own federal probe one that ultimately led to Rezko's conviction on fraud and bribery charges. The former governor said his very first meeting with Obama, then about to join the Illinois senate, came by way of Rezko's personal introduction.

Blagojevich said that in late 2008, having just arrived in his jail cell, investigators approached him for information.

"When they had me in custody they were very clear about they wanted me to cooperate and talk about people in higher places ,and with all due respect to Mayor Daley, there's no one higher than Governor," he said.

"You're talking about then president-elect Obama?" Ross asked.

"I'm not saying that right now." Asked who else he could mean, Blagojevich shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "Is it your impression they were thinking about Obama?" Ross pressed.

"I have my own personal opinion but from where I'm sitting right now it's probably better for me not to talk about it." He then grinned, "If I'm guilty of anything it's that I talk too much."

The case laid out against the former Illinois governor was built over the course of a six-year investigation that delved into a range of state contracts, political donations, and allegations of backroom deals. Much of it rested on hundreds of hours of recorded telephone conversations, including dozens between Blagojevich and his top advisers. It broke dramatically into the public realm in late 2008, as prosecutors alleged the governor was attempting to cash in an extremely valuable political chit the newly open senate seat that had been vacated by Obama.

so this guy spent his entire term under continuous surveillance due to "allegations." Made by who? Oh right, we're not allowed to know. and they can't get him on anything. Not even this sham.

In one tape, Blagojevich can be heard telling an aide "I mean I, I've got this thing and it's [bleep]ing golden & And I, I'm just not giving it up for [bleeping nothing."

sounds completely normal to me. Those words prove nothing. There's no way they have a real case, it is entirely based on the theory that they can exploit people's ignorant snap judgment based on a few out-of-context quotes... That scumbag Fitzgerald? fuck him. If the prose-clowns wanted to make a real case maybe they should have waited until a crime was committed? Which seems likely to me, would never have happened. No - they decided to destroy this guy because he wasn't part of the cabal, and fucked with that bank to make them help those locked out workers. They decided he was potentially 'dangerous' down the road. and if they could muddy up and fuck with obama in the process that would just be icing.

yes- obama is no savior, and far from being an effective positive change agent, he's wittingly or not - or given no choice but to go along, or just prefers a different flavor of "screw america and most everywhere else too" but the evidence seems to me he does play for a different team than the bush scum. Yes both teams are ultimately owned by the same bastards, but - which team wins can shape the end-game profoundly.


Blagojevich said the tapes may sound boorish, but they only capture what he called "routine" musings and brainstorming with his lawyers and advisers about the options arrayed before him.

"I was discussing ideas," he said. "Good ones, stupid ones, ugly ones, just discussing ideas, thinking out loud. Discussing different scenarios."

Ross asked, "You really believe this is routine politics? This is what politics is?"

Blagojevich replied: "It's routine political horse trading. Say what you will, this is how the system works."

Later, Blagojevich defended his decision to allow his children to attend his trial something jurors said afterwards they found distasteful.
oh the precious jurors who made a snap judgment years ago and refuse to admit they were wrong (aka Americans Disease) find the children distasteful oh my, the poor dears.
He said his 14-year-old daughter asked him to allow her to attend. Once he consented, he said his younger daughter, who is seven, did not want to be left behind.

The federal case against him, he added, has taken a severe toll on his family. He recounted how he heard his younger child playing out a conversation between two dolls in which one doll said to the other, "You know I know you lied about me because you want to put me in jail but I'm still your friend."

"I found that heartbreaking because my little one is actually picking up some of the dynamics of this case where I've had some friends that have lied about me and she knows that happens," the former governor said. "She knows that there was one we didn't win and the others we're in a good place on, but we're going to work on that."

Blagojevich said that he would, under no condition, accept a plea deal that would require him to admit guilt in any of the corruption allegations even a deal that allowed him to stay out of prison. On the one guilty count alone, he could face a five year sentence, though he vowed to appeal.

"The real world of politics, Brian, is rough and tumble business," he said.
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby Nordic » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:36 am

I just have a question, having seen Blago on TV quite a bit lately ...

How did someone SO FUCKING STUPID end up being governor of Illinois?

How is that possible?

Is it the same process by which Sarah Palin became governor of a state?

It blows my mind. I know how Arnold got in here in Cali, it was a nice trick. I saw it happen, it all made sense in a practical way.

But this guy? :shock:
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby Twyla LaSarc » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:11 pm

Nordic wrote:I just have a question, having seen Blago on TV quite a bit lately ...

How did someone SO FUCKING STUPID end up being governor of Illinois?

How is that possible?

Is it the same process by which Sarah Palin became governor of a state?

It blows my mind. I know how Arnold got in here in Cali, it was a nice trick. I saw it happen, it all made sense in a practical way.

But this guy? :shock:


I'm from Illinois. Upstate is packed with ringers from the Daley/Chicago machine. Downstate is packed with ringers from the Sarah Palin Collection of bible-thumping idiots who had God and the local republican bosses tell them to run for office. It is steeped in politicism, nepotism and graft. There is no 'lesser of two evils', it's just who is offered via party machine which no-one wants to examine the system closer because your cousin might lose his comfy state contract if you rock the boat. I haven't lived there in years and can't tell you who Blago ran against, but my guess is that he became gov because his opponents were downright insane.

Grew up with the gossip over the supper table. My parents both worked for the state assisting the handicapped. Their travails (overheard by the little pitcher with big ears) soured me on any idealism I might have harbored about state-level politics.

It's a shame. Illinois is one of the nicer midwestern states- not as cold as Wisconsin and a damn sight less redneck than Missouri...

PS: any RI'er's in the area who haven't already, check out Allerton park outside of Monticello while you still can. The place is a veritable mystery school, especially the wooded path from the main house to the Sunsinger and the giant golden antique Thai Buddhas are as amazing as anything you will find outside of a major art museum...

PPS: I also got to vote in the Arnie circus. the only thing refreshing out of that was the fact there was something like 158 names on the ballot. The Beer Party. Gary Coleman. Angelique. It was a once in a lifetime experience I will always cherish in a sick malformed way...
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby Twyla LaSarc » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:19 pm

Here's an article from today's counterpunch which describes the situation pretty succintly.

http://www.counterpunch.org/dimaggio08232010.html


Lessons in Illinois Politics From the Blago Trial

A Culture of Corruption

By ANTHONY DiMAGGIO

The near total dismissal of charges against former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signifies the tremendous extent in which the culture of corruption has taken hold among the states’ officials and populace..../snip/...

Much of Blago’s luck in dodging federal charges relates to the culture of cynicism and corruption that has taken hold of the state’s public and officials... /snip/...

Politicians in Illinois have seized upon the trial of Blagojevich to construct an image of the former governor as an isolated case of corruption. This framework is a toxic threat for those who want to see real transparency in Illinois and an end to bribery, extortion, and patronage. The real travesty behind the Blagojevich trial is that the citizens of Illinois appear to be so disillusioned that they can’t recognize blatant examples of corruption when they see them. The Blagojevich case was a gift to federal prosecutors from the very beginning, with the head official of the state openly conspiring about his extortion schemes. That Blagojevich could emerge from this trial as unscathed as he has is truly a sign of the moral degeneration of the state’s political system, and more importantly, the defeatist apathy and demoralization of the state’s citizenry.


Good article, and he is right. Every time something comes up like Blago (who is hardly an isolated incident) it is treated as if it were an aberration, like, 'oh blimey, the current crop is full of bad apples' with no acknowledgement that the system is decomposing malus domestica all the way down and has been for generations.
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby norton ash » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:45 pm

That Blagojevich could emerge from this trial as unscathed as he has is truly a sign of the moral degeneration of the state’s political system, and more importantly, the defeatist apathy and demoralization of the state’s citizenry.


Ha. We're not just talking about Illinois. It's the state of all our states, seeing as there's an abundance of shameless career criminals walking around 'unscathed' pretty much everywhere.
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby mentalgongfu2 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:07 pm

this case has been very strange since day one. Remember, day one came ONE DAY after he pulled state business from a big bank in support of locked-out unpaid workers. Next day.... boom.

All the while... prosecutors been leaking stuff big time, so as to prejudice everyone against him. Even now, ask anyone who knows the name, they think he must be guilty. Based on nothing but leaked and other bogus info released buy the prosecutors. What is the mantra they say in most every other case, "we can not comment on pending litigation/ongoing investigation" but in this case... they're fraking magpies.


I'm so glad someone else noticed this, and it's worth pointing out repeatedly.

I don't know whether what Blago did is technically illegal, but I do know it IS common, political horse trading.

The trial doesn't really matter; for the FBI intended to convict him in the media for some reason. Why? The factory stunt? To roll him over onto Obama? Something else entirely? I certainly don't know, but it doesn't add up.

Blagovich doesn't engender much respect or empathy when I've seen him talking on the telly, but worse in my view has been the media focus on the superficial - all these comments about his hair, attempts to make him look stupid. He may not be smart; but you don't get to the position he was in without some amount of wit and cunning.

I'm in Iowa, and the political machine here is probably as corrupt as our neighbor across the Big Muddy, although its reputation is much cleaner for some unidentified reason. Maybe it's just more subtle. In any case, I note that to declare that despite of my general ignorance of the players within the Illinois machine, I have smelled from day one something funny about the Blago prosecution, and this despite Jack's complete lack of respect or care for said Governor.

There is a motive to this much deeper than a "crackdown" (lmao) on political corruption in the Land of Lincoln.

Beyond that, I can only speculate.

For some reason I can't quite explain, it makes me want to use the word "Kennedy-esque." Power struggles and such.

And though it's a bit OT, I can't help but mention briefly something I've said before, since I'm on the subject of Illinois politics, there is something extremely odd and unmutual about how Barack Obama's original opponent, Jack Ryan, was taken out in his run for the US Senate, moving up from state office in Ill.,

Someone really should put together an expose about how those Ryan divorce papers got unsealed and how Maryland resident Alan Keyes "established" residence in Illinois to "oppose" Obama's bid.
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby MinM » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:55 am

justdrew wrote:Rod Blagojevich Hints That Feds Were After Barack Obama


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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby mentalgongfu2 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:24 am

BUMP.

Don't forget Blago, and don't rule him out. It seems to me the 'well-coiffed' former Governor is a lynch pin in the story of Obama's election to the Senate and then presidency. It seems he's currently stuck between the options of taking the hit or rolling on the Big Man to some extent. Perhaps that's just part of the show. In any case, my gut, which rarely steers me wrong, tells me this is extremely relevant and should be closely watched.
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Re: Blagojevich Demands Gov't Play Tapes from Wiretap

Postby justdrew » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:52 pm

Holdout juror at Blagojevich trial explains vote
By The Associated Press
Friday, August 27th, 2010
Blagojevich trial holdout juror says she followed her conscience in voting against conviction

The juror who was the lone holdout on some counts at former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich's political corruption trial has said she had a responsibility to follow her conscience and that she stands by her vote.

In her first media interview since the trial ended, JoAnn Chiakulas told the Chicago Tribune that she found Blagojevich's recorded statements about allegedly selling Barack Obama's old senate seat so disorganized and scattered that his actions did not amount to a criminal conspiracy.

"I could never live with myself if I went along with the rest of the jury," Chiakulas told the Tribune.

The jury last week deadlocked on 23 of 24 counts against Blagojevich and convicted him of lying to the FBI. On Thursday, Judge James Zagel said Blagojevich's retrial would start the week of Jan. 4. Prosecutors have dropped charges against the former governor's brother, Robert Blagojevich.

At the first trial, jurors deliberated for 14 days before the judge declared a mistrial on those 23 charges.

Rod Blagojevich is accused of attempting to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat, but jurors said they deadlocked 11-1 on the charges regarding that.

Since the verdict, Chiakulas, 67, had refused to respond to an onslaught of media requests for an interview. On Thursday, a woman at her apartment in the Chicago suburb of Willowbrook refused to open the door when an Associated Press reporter knocked.

The Tribune said its interview with her was arranged with the help of a freelance journalist who works for the newspaper and knows the Chiakulas family.

Chiakulas is retired and a grandmother. She is a former employee of the state Department of Public Health, where she ran a minority affairs program, and the Chicago Urban League, where she oversaw a youth counseling program.

In the Tribune interview, Chiakulas said she had no prior bias toward Blagojevich, and had ignored his many media appearances, which she called "his shenanigans."

Chiakulas said she did not believe Blagojevich committed a crime with regards to Obama's vacated senate seat. But, in voting him not guilty, Chiakulas stressed that she did not find him innocent.

"I thought he was narcissistic," she told the Tribune. "I thought he was all over the place. I thought he was just rambling."

Chiakulas said she also became concerned because some key witnesses against Blagojevich had cut deals with prosecutors before testifying.

"Some people in (the jury room) only saw black and white," Chiakulas said. "I think I saw, in the transcripts and in the testimony, shades of gray. To me, that means reasonable doubt."

She acknowledged tensions in the jury room as she held her ground. Other jurors said that she took copious notes and that they had no reason to believe she wasn't deliberating in good faith.

Being the holdout caused her a great deal of stress, Chiakulas said, describing how she suffered headaches and stomach pains.

"I can't explain how badly I felt," she said. "I didn't sleep at night. I thought about it on the train. I wanted to make sure my reasonable doubt was reasonable."
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