View Full Version : Blagojevich sends not-so-subtle message to Obama

23 Apr 10,, 21:48
John Kass
April 23, 2010

Rod Blagojevich finally made good on a promise: He put President Barack Obama right in the middle of Blagojevich's own political corruption case.

And now it's finally clear why, from the moment of Blagojevich's arrest in December 2008, White House spinners loudly portrayed our former Gov. Dead Meat as some drooling, raving lunatic.

A lunatic is not to be believed, and Dead Meat will continue to be characterized as such by Obama defenders. But raving lunatics care little for their own survival. And in an amazing defense motion filed Thursday, Blagojevich proved once again that he is quite sane.

He wants Obama to testify in his federal criminal case. The feds allege that Blagojevich conspired to sell off Obama's old U.S. Senate seat, among other charges.

Obama's former patron and real estate fairy, the convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko, is a key player in the government's case. Blagojevich's aim is to undercut what Rezko has told investigators.

And now Blago wants the president to do the undercutting from the witness stand, with the nation riveted to his every recollection of his days in Chicago politics, hanging with Tony and the guys, with the midterm November elections approaching.

"President Obama has pertinent information as to the character of Mr. Rezko," the Blagojevich filing states. "President Obama can testify to Mr. Rezko's reputation for truthfulness, as well as his own opinion of Mr. Rezko's character. Based on the relationship that President Obama and Mr. Rezko had, President Obama can provide important information as to Mr. Rezko's plan, intent, opportunity, habit and modus operandi."

Though Thursday's new information is quite fascinating, remember that it comes from the same defense team that has turned the case into a circus from day one.

And demanding the president take the stand in a corruption trial is all three rings, and the dozens of tiny little clowns pouring out of the diminutive car, and the bearded lady. Oh, and let's not forget the dog-faced boy.

Thursday's filing quotes an account by Rezko suggesting that when Obama was an Illinois state senator, his campaign received political cash from Rezko. It also points to assertions by Rezko insinuating that he and Obama had conversations about a casino deal in Rosemont that Rezko stood to make a killing on.

"Rezko has stated to the government that he and the public official [believed to be Obama] had certain conversations about gaming legislation and administration, which the public official denies having had," the filing states.

"President Obama is the only one who can testify as to the veracity of Mr. Rezko's allegations above."

It's no secret that some in journalism get offended when anyone dares mention that the president was involved in Chicago politics. But the filing is not only a legal document, it's a political message from Blagojevich to Obama. So allow me to translate the Chicago Way.

"Dear Barack, my old friend. I want you to use all your powers, all your skills, to make me an offer I can't refuse. I'm Mr. Celebrity-get-me-out-of-here, and you better get me out of here. Thanks, Rod."

The most interesting portions of the filing were supposed to be kept secret. Whole sections were redacted (i.e., blacked out) and remained so for hours.

But there appears to have been a clerical error. And Rich Miller of The Capitol Fax Blog revealed a way to unlock the redacted parts. So we followed Mr. Miller's easy instructions, pressed a few keys on the computer, and presto!

All the redacted material was magically reinstated.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel surely isn't happy. He hauled lawyers from both sides into his chambers for a little private chat Thursday evening. There were no reports of piteous shrieks emanating from behind closed doors, but I've got to think that Blago's guys left the room whimpering and biting their lips.

While this is believed to have been a technical glitch by the defense, the thing is, this is Chicago. Do you believe in coincidence?

It's not good for Obama. But whether you agree or disagree with his politics, it's clear that he's in a difficult position.

His former close buddy, Rezko "That's not the Tony Rezko I know" still swings like some albatross from his neck, and it's getting quite stinky. It's hard to transcend the old politics of the past with that dead bird weighing you down.

And his political guys, who were sent from Mayor Richard Daley's City Hall to run his administration, have served him poorly. They shouldn't have let this get anywhere near the president.

In January 2009 just weeks after the FBI came knocking at his door Blagojevich threatened to bring everyone down with him.

As he was being booted from the governor's office in his impeachment trial, Dead Meat complained that he wanted to call witnesses to clear his name.

"I'm talking about every single witness named in the criminal complaint," Dead Meat said. "I'm talking about (White House Chief of Staff) Rahm Emanuel, and Sen. (Dick) Durbin and others who were engaged in conversations with me on a variety of different things, all appropriate and all legal, and I'd like every one of them to testify under oath here at this impeachment trial."

Dead Meat said then the witnesses were necessary so that he could clear his name. And now, he wants Obama on the stand.

Does Dead Meat really want the ultimate witness, or is he merely playing a dangerous game of "Let's Make a Deal"?

John Kass, Rod Blagojevich, Barack Obama - chicagotribune.com (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-friday-20100423,0,1271799,full.column)

25 Apr 10,, 23:20
The subpoena was released in a format where the redacted portions could be revealed by copy-pasting into another file. Whoops. (http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/The-Six-Secrets-You-Need-to-Know-From-the-Blagojevich-Filing-91848634.html)

26 Apr 10,, 00:32
Yup...WHOOPS ! :biggrin:

26 Apr 10,, 00:49
Can a sitting president be subpoenaed?

Man that's a weird word.


26 Apr 10,, 00:53
Can a sitting president be subpoenaed?

Apparently so. Clinton certainly was, so there's a precedent.

I'm sure there are restrictions or conditions, though.

26 Apr 10,, 01:00
Can a sitting president be subpoenaed?

Man that's a weird word.

-daleYes he certainly can. He can also provide a video deposition. ;)

26 Apr 10,, 01:38
Yes he certainly can. He can also provide a video deposition. ;)

That's right - I forgot about Mister Fastpants.


26 Apr 10,, 14:41
Apparently so. Clinton certainly was, so there's a precedent.

I'm sure there are restrictions or conditions, though.

Subpoenaed? Yes, but it doesnt necessarily mean the truth will be told huh Bill?;):))

26 Apr 10,, 20:44
Subpoenaed? Yes, but it doesnt necessarily mean the truth will be told huh Bill?;):))In this case, the supporting evidence should be phone records, not a stained blue dress. ;)

30 Apr 10,, 23:30
CHICAGO (AP) - A federal judge in Chicago has refused to issue a subpoena for President Barack Obama to testify at former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's political corruption trial.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel ruled Friday that lawyers for Blagojevich had not produced sufficient evidence that Obama would have anything material to say on the witness stand.

Defense attorneys had claimed that the president could shed light on charges that Blagojevich schemed to sell or trade Obama's former U.S. Senate seat.

Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The trial is set to start June 3.

Judge says no to Obama subpoena in Blago case (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9FDHDJ80&show_article=1)