Patterico's Pontifications

4/22/2010

The Blagojevich Subpoena

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 7:38 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Attorneys for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich asked Thursday for the court to issue a trial subpoena for President Barack Obama. It was supposed to be a redacted filing but apparently the redacted parts could be revealed by copying and pasting the document to another screen. NBC Chicago reveals the redacted portions and Ace provides excerpts:

“1. Obama may have lied about conversations with convicted fraudster Tony Rezko

Blagojevich’s lawyers allege that Rezko admitted breaking the law by contributing “a large sum of cash” to a public official. Blagojevich’s attorneys say that public official is Obama. Obama said that Rezko never relayed a request from a lobbyist to hold a fundraiser in favor of favorable legislative action. But the point may be moot: regardless of Obama talking/not talking to Rezko, Blagojevich’s attorneys say that Obama refused the request regardless.

Redacted portion: However, the defense has a good faith belief that Mr. Rezko, President Obama’s former friend, fund-raiser, and neighbor told the FBI and the United States Attorneys a different story about President Obama. In a recent in camera proceeding, the government tendered a three paragraph letter indicating that Rezko “has stated in interviews with the government that he engaged in election law violations by personally contributing a large sum of cash to the campaign of a public official who is not Rod Blagojevich. … Further, the public official denies being aware of cash contributions to his campaign by Rezko or others and denies having conversations with Rezko related to cash contributions. … Rezko has also stated in interviews with the government that he believed he transmitted a quid pro quo offer from a lobbyist to the public official, whereby the lobbyist would hold a fundraiser for the official in exchange for favorable official action, but that the public official rejected the offer. The public official denies any such conversation. In addition, Rezko has stated to the government that he and the public official had certain conversations about gaming legislation and administration, which the public official denies having had.
Redacted footnote: The defense has a good faith belief that this public official is Barack Obama.

2. Obama may have overtly recommended Valerie Jarret for his Senate seat

Blagojevich’s defense team basically alleges that Obama told a certain labor union official that he (Obama) would support Valerie Jarrett’s candidacy for the Senate seat. Jarrett, referred to as “Senate Candidate B”, is now a senior advisor to the president.

Redacted portion: Yet, despite President Obama stating that no representatives of his had any part of any deals, labor union president told the FBI and the United States Attorneys that he spoke to labor union official on November 3, 2008 who received a phone message from Obama that evening. After labor union official listened to the message labor union official told labor union president “I’m the one”. Labor union president took that to mean that labor union official was to be the one to deliver the message on behalf of Obama that Senate Candidate B was his pick. (Labor union president 302, February 2, 2009, p. 7).
Labor union official told the FBI and the United States Attorneys “Obama expressed his belief that [Senate Candidate B] would be a good Senator for the people of Illinois and would be a candidate who could win re-election. [Labor union official] advised Obama that [labor union official] would reach out to Governor Blagojevich and advocate for [Senate Candidate B].. . . [Labor union official] called [labor union president] and told [labor union president] that Obama was aware that [labor union official] would be reaching out to Blagojevich.” (Labor union official 302, February 3, 2009 p. 3).

3. A supporter of President Obama may have offered quid pro quo on a Jarrett senate appointment

Redacted portion: Supporter of Presidential Candidate Obama is mentioned in a phone call on November 3, 2008, having offered “fundraising” in exchange for Senate Candidate B for senator (Blagojevich Home Phone Call # 149).”

Why does this matter? Also from Ace:

“As to why the defense lawyers are bringing this up, it’s to discredit Rezko, who is apparently the star witness. It may not be relevant to the issues of the case, but whether or not he lied about what Obama said/did is extremely relevant to his credibility as a witness.”

The defense motion reportedly requests to call President Obama as a corroborating witness because Obama could verify Blagojevich didn’t try to sell his seat.

— DRJ

UPDATE: John Kass at the Chicago Tribune has the Cliff’s Notes version of Blagojevich vs Rezko and Obama.

32 Responses to “The Blagojevich Subpoena”

  1. It was supposed to be a redacted filing but apparently the redacted parts could be revealed by copying and pasting the document to another screen.

    Update: Judge calls emergency meeting over redaction errors.

    Good god. Government incompetence never ceases to amaze me.

    John Henry Eden (9284aa)

  2. Incompetent redaction of filings is very commonplace these days because too many attorneys and/or legal secretaries are f**king ignorant of how PDF and Adobe Acrobat works.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. This was never a problem in the Soviet Union.
    When the party decided that some part of history needed redacting, everyone got out their razor-blades/xacto-knives, and properly cut the offending tissue out of the body of knowledge.

    AD - RtR/OS! (898e6a)

  4. How would you like to sit in on that deposition? The last Dem President that had to do so had a rough go of it.

    JD (9f2abc)

  5. I want to know who the asshole is who revealed how to read through the redaction! This was a great tip for journalists.

    Perhaps some partisanship is slipping out… I’m sure redactions are critical in many cases, but when we’re discussing government corruption, I do not think they should be used except under extreme circumstances I don’t see here.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  6. This is going to be good: Blago’s “good faith belief” is going to get the right wing all hot and bothered.

    imdw (cd4b7a)

  7. in other news, popcorn futures were sharply up in trading on the Chicago Board of Trade…

    this is great: i can’t wait to hear the arguments made as his minions try to weasel the First Felon out of this, and the hypocrisy of the usual suspects here as they try to spin this away from their god of clay.

    (which, i see, has already started %-)

    im wd-40 (fb8750)

  8. “How would you like to sit in on that deposition? The last Dem President that had to do so had a rough go of it.”

    JD – I don’t know, didn’t he set some kind of world record for the number of times he said “I do not recall” or it’s equivalent? Apart from getting caught in a lie and embarrassingly trying to parse the definition of the word “is”, it didn’t turn out that badly.

    Think of all the fun you could have with Obama under oath. Grades, ACORN, birth certificate, etc., etc. The problem I see is that even if the judge allows it, the most you would get is a video deposition with a severely circumscribed range of topics. We can still dream, though.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  9. “This is going to be good: Blago’s “good faith belief” is going to get the right wing all hot and bothered.”

    imdw – The left has already started wetting its pants, as well it should. Probably nothing to worry about since Obama’s people all cleared themselves, except for Axelrod if I remember correctly.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  10. Dustin, people figured out the way to read incorrectly redacted PDF’s about 10 minutes after someone invented the incorrect way to redact …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  11. Damn, Rose Mary Woods obviously needs to teach a remedial class in information destruction.

    Captain Ned (b17b8e)

  12. SPQR, I can easily see being that clerk who redacted the wrong way. Sucks to be him!

    They can’t disbar Obama… since he disbarred himself.

    The entire Clinton issue was a freaking disaster. I don’t necessarily blame the right for that, but that put the nation through a lot for relatively little payoff and no justice.

    I guess it’s controversial of me to say so, but I don’t think Obama should have to testify for Blagojevich’s mere good faith belief. He is the US President, and while he’s not above the law, this is a stunt.

    I sure hope we are getting some amazing staff lined up for our House Committee hearings and investigations. Last time I checked they employed just a single investigator.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  13. This was either (a) legal malpractice per se on the part of Blago’s lawyers (if they genuinely wanted to keep the “redacted” portions secret) or (b) a deliberate leak camouflaged to look like a technical mistake. Given the source, I’m inclined to suspect the latter.

    Beldar (7a5ffe)

  14. daleyrocks #9 – I think you were had by one of our regulars …

    im wd-40 doesn’t ‘sound’ anything like imdw … I’m actually expecting im wd-40 to denounce himself any moment now, once he manages to stop laughing about your response … (grin) …

    Alasdair (205079)

  15. Just in case anyone actually thinks it might happen, allow me to state it now: Teh One will NEVER have to testify on this matter. Blago and his team are grasping at straws.

    Icy Texan (2d6ef1)

  16. “Think of all the fun you could have with Obama under oath. Grades, ACORN, birth certificate, etc., etc. The problem I see is that even if the judge allows it, the most you would get is a video deposition with a severely circumscribed range of topics. We can still dream, though.”

    I think this is basically the case for some sort of privilege applying. But Birtherism? you too?

    imdw (544e95)

  17. President’s with D by their name, under oath, are about as reliable as a bic in a hurricane. It won’t happen because nothing truthful will be uttered.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  18. Birtherism? you too?

    Comment by imdw

    Do you deny that there’s a more full record of his birth, and that record’s release is being fought?

    Cause that’s just plain newsworthy at this point. He was born in Hawaii, of course. Why try to sht down a reasonable effort to answer questions a lot of people are asking? The main reason I’d like to see this certificate is so that people are assured he’s eligible. Even if they are mistaken, there’s an obvious public interest in that. Even if some wouldn’t be convinced.

    I guess that’s birtherism?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  19. It’s on Snopes dude.

    imdw (017d51)

  20. Alasdair – No worries – My #9 goes back to #6 which is from one our regular douchenozzles.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  21. “I think this is basically the case for some sort of privilege applying. But Birtherism? you too?”

    imdw – See http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2010/04/covering-up-the-coverup.html

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  22. And if imadouchebag says Snopes is the final call on anything controversial, you know it must be true. After all, consider the source.

    Dmac (21311c)

  23. “It’s on Snopes dude.”

    WHOAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  24. The final call will really be your own reason. But the info you need is on snopes. Among other places.

    imdw (8222e7)

  25. The feds should sell tickets to Blago’s trial this summer. That would go a long way to reducing the national debt. This week he challenged the federal prosecutor to show up in court, calling him a coward, prompting the federal judge to have a little talk with them about how to conduct themselves during this case.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  26. I am so stupid that I don’t know the difference between a Certificate of Live Birth and a Certified Birth Certificate. I Monica anything and everything Obama and his supporters say.

    i am WD-40 (1d8b6d)

  27. 17, Corwin, it is all blackmail of Obama. Dumbo doesn’t want to be put under oath in a courtroom without his TelePrompter. He may say something that would incriminate himself, or he may wear out phraseology for taking the 5th Amendment.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  28. PCD – Great point! I’ve never seen a deposition with a teleprompter before. Do they allow that kind of stuff? I’ll bet Holder would approve it.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  29. I Monica anything and everything Obama and his supporters say.

    I have to admit that this person’s doing a better parody of imadouchebag that I ever did. No, it’s not my sockpuppet.

    Dmac (21311c)

  30. 28, yes, it was. I see imdw staggering looking for a lampost to hang on to.

    I use WD-40 as deodorant (1d8b6d)

  31. 29, Dmac,

    I take that as a great compliment.

    You probably figured out who I am. I just have a huge snark on today.

    Dr. WD-40 (1d8b6d)

  32. Can anyone explain why Tony Rezko has not been sentenced yet?
    Instead, he is squirreled away in some dark location complements of Patrick Fitzgerald. Is it because once Rezko is sentenced, he would have nothing to lose?

    retire05 (2abfb2)


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