Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blago Retrial delayed - Until After Chicago's Mayoral Election

The retrial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been delayed until April, which will put it after the February 22 mayoral election in which a certain White House former Chief of Staff will be running.

It's almost certain that Blagojevich's lawyers will seek to subpoena Rahm Emanuel or at the very least depose him over certain conversations involving the ''negotiations' over the appointment to Barack Obama's old senate seat, which the president was reportedly seeking for presidential adviser and long time Chicago crony Valerie Jarrett. Rahm was subpoenaed as a defense witnesses by the defense at Blago's first trial, which ended in a hung jury, but he was never called.

Of course, by April both the midterms and the mayoral election will both be over, which ought to give a little relief to another prominent Democrat, Alexi Gianoullias whose family owned Broadway Bank was just closed by the Feds amid what can only be called massive 'irregularities'. And who's now running for the same senate seat in a hotly contested election.

The feds have Blagojevich's ex-chief of staff John Harris on tape telling Blagojevich in November, 2008 right after the presidential election that "Alexi called me." Harris told Blago that Giannoulias "wants to meet with me a few minutes this afternoon. He says it's . . . I said what's it about? He says the (Senate) seat, 'but not for me, for someone else'."

While Harris claims he never met with Giannoulias, who is a long time friend, fundraiser and supporter of Obama (and along with Obama, a mutual pal of convicted financier Tony Rezco) right after the phone call a meeting was set up between between Valerie Jarrett and Illinois labor leader and Blagojevich supporter and confidant Tom Balanoff, to discuss the vacant senate spot.

That could mean that Jarrett went to the White House afterwards - which would have meant getting Rahm Emanuel involved - and asked them to 'bid' for her if this is the way things went down.That could make for some interesting testimony if Emanuel is grilled by Blago's lawyers this time around.Especially since the feds have Emanuel on tape in various conversations with Blagojevitch and Harris.

Balanoff is the politically active president of both SEIU Local 1 and the SEIU Illinois State Council and the union contributed more than $1.9 million to Blago’s campaign fund. So the dots connect nicely.

Balanoff testified in court that he asked Giannoulias to be the go-between between he and Jarrett and that the meeting took place. For his part Giannoulias admitted being at the meeting, but claims to remember absolutely nothing about what was said.

The interesting part of this entire circus will be the White House reaction. President Obama has been intimately involved with all the principals for some time and the last thing he can afford to do is throw Rahm Emanuel and Alexi Giannoulias under the bus and risk having them get offers of immunity to open up on this and other interesting scenarios.

On the other hand, the White House can hardly come down too heavily on Blagojevich for the same reason. So I don't doubt that a quiet deal is being struck behind the scenes.

The fact that the request to delay the trial until after the elections came from the defense rather than the prosecution suggests to me that certain negotiations are already in play.

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Anonymous said...

It's Crook County .. erm, I mean, Cook County !


louielouie said...

regarding d/d comment:
wouldn't it be easier to postpone the election 'til after the trial.
you know.
so more dead people could vote.

B.Poster said...

With so many people within the government beuracracy and the new media so heavily invested in the Obama Presidency what leads any one to think that there is going to be any kind of serious investigation into any thing Mr. Obama or his friends may have done? Sure they may go through the motions of an investigation but it seems unlikely anyone within the government agencies will actually do a serious investigation of any thing Obama related.

This is in contrast to former President Bush. With so many in the government beuracracy and the news media dedicated to destroying him the investigations of all things Bush went on non stop looking for any thing and every thing.

Anonymous said...

To louielouie :

They could also simply dump votes from ' non-co-operative ' precincts into the River Calumet : that's what they did to steal from Nixon his Ill-inois electoral college votes & his popular national vote majority in the 1960 prez elections ( the national electoral college might still have been Kennedy's, a la 2000 -- a very complicated & perplexing subject ). And don't forget the time-honoured tradition of ballot-box stuffing ( also conducted in 1960 : some of the Western Chicago precincts reported 99 per cent support for Kennedy ! )

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose : the more things change, the more that it's really the same thing.