Friday, June 27, 2008
We learn from the Chicago Sun-Times that “[n]ewly unsealed documents show that prosecutors sought to call witnesses to testify” about convicted political fixer Antoin “Tony” Rezko’s ties to Sen. Obama. For whatever reason, “prosecutors opted against bringing Obama into the mix” during Rezko’s recently concluded two-month trial.
“And references to Obama were not only kept out of the trial during his run for the primary—it was kept under seal,” Natasha Korecki reported June 26, 2008. “Until today.”
What we do not learn is why prosecutors did not bring up Obama’s name more often, particularly since U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve “ruled that they could.”
The filing indicates that the prosecution wanted witnesses to talk about Rezko’s prowess as an Obama fund-raiser and his influence in getting two others — Joseph Aramanda and Semir Sirazi — to donate Rezko money to Obama’s campaigns in their names. The money kicked into Obama’s campaigns came from an illicit kickback scheme. Obama has since donated that money to charity.
Is it possible that there are more troubling days ahead for Sen. Obama—particularly since rumors are rumbling around Springfield that either 1.) impeachment may be on the table for Blagojevich or 2.) Rezko’s prosecutors are ready to paint a target on Blagojevich’s back? Either way, speculation abounds that Blagojevich is no Rezko; he may not be willing to so quickly exchange his mansion for a jail cell.
h/t Bill Baar, who agrees: “Walls are closing in and the air is getting thin for the Governor. He won’t go down alone.”
· Natasha Korecki, Who lied, witnesses — or gov? Feds reveal he denied pay-to-play remarks described by 2 in court, Chicago Sun-Times, June 27, 2008.
· Jeff Coen and Bob Secter, Feds quizzed Blagojevich. Records show talks in Rezko inquiry, Chicago Tribune, June 27, 2008.