Thursday, May 31, 2018

Connect the dots - Blagojevich, Libby, Fitzgerald, Comey, Obama.

President Trump said today that he's considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and pardoning Martha Stewart. With the pardons of Jack Johnson, Dinesh D'Souza, Joe Arpaio and Scooter Libby, it sounds to me like President Trump is trying to undo malicious prosecution of the previous administrations and right egregious wrongs...particularly those by Patrick Fitzgerald.
Patrick Fitzgerald, Comey's right hand man, was involved in the prosecution of many of these folks. Who is Patrick Fitzgerald, besides the guy James Comey just hired on his legal team and who he leaked his memos to? U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who oversaw the prosecutions of Illinois Governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, stepped down suddenly in 2012 and was the longest serving U.S. attorney in Chicago history, holding the office for more than 10 1/2 years. Hmm. Blagojevich?
Fitzgerald oversaw the public corruption investigations that resulted in the convictions of both Ryan and Blagojevich.
Among other prosecutions during Fitzgerald's career:
In December 2003, Fitzgerald was served as special counsel in the investigation of the outing of a covert employee of the CIA. The investigation resulted in the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then chief of staff and national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Fitzgerald was lead counsel in Libby's trial that resulted in Libby's conviction on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
In 2010, Fitzgerald was appointed special attorney to supervise the investigation of former CIA officer John Kiriakou for allegedly repeatedly disclosing classified information to journalists, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee in classified activities.
At the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, Fitzgerald participated in the prosecution of those involved in the August 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and a plot to bomb other New York landmarks.
Eric Holder said in a statement that Fitzgerald "has served the American people and the citizens of Illinois with the utmost integrity and a steadfast commitment to the cause of justice."
"Over the years, he has gained the trust of two presidents and the unwavering confidence of four attorneys general, and I am deeply grateful to him for his service and his friendship over the years."
This should be interesting.
Connecting more dots. James Comey used Patrick Fitzgerald to take down Scooter Libby, whom Trump just pardoned, and Rod Blagojevich, who is hoping for a pardon. Hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected what is likely ex-Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich’s final plea to overturn his conviction and 14 year prison sentence, his wife Patti Blagojevich went on TV to sway President Donald Trump.

The President has the authority to pardon the disgraced governor. She drew similarities between her husband’s prosecution by James Comey's pal, former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, and that of Dick Cheney's adviser, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, whom Trump pardoned last week.

“My husband is probably the only person in the entire history of the United States who is serving any kind of sentence for simply asking for campaign contributions."

Blagojevich was a contestant on Trump’s program “The Celebrity Apprentice” in 2010 as he faced charges that he tried to sell off President Barack Obama’s Senate seat. In April 2010, Blagojevich moved to subpoena Obama.
Why did Comey's pal Patrick Fitzgerald prosecute Blagojevich? With a string of high-profile prosecutions under his belt, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald presented corruption charges against former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in December 2008. RIGHT AFTER OBAMA WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT.
Fitzgerland, the man often mentioned as a candidate to be the next FBI Director after Robert Mueller, suffered a setback at Blagojevish's trial. Jurors deadlocked on all but one charge. The failure to win a bigger conviction raised questions about possible missteps by prosecutors - and about Fitzgerald's future.
"Fitzgerald's been there for three presidential terms, and that's unusual. The power can go to your head. You can't get personal with defendants, and he does."
Fitzgerald rose to prominence by convicting another former Illinois governor, George Ryan, of corruption, and media mogul Conrad Black of defrauding investors. He was also tapped by James Comey to be the special prosecutor in Washington's CIA leak case, eventually convicting former Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby for perjury and other offenses.
In the Blagojevich investigation, some critics have questioned whether Fitzgerald moved too fast to arrest the former governor, whether his team put on an overly complicated case and whether he became too personally involved in the matter.
After a hung jury, two of the nation's largest newspapers struck hard at Fitzgerald, with one saying he should drop the Blagojevich case, and a second calling on him to resign. A Washington Post editorial said the prosecutor got his shot at Blagojevich and lost and "should stand down before crossing another fine line - the one that separates prosecution from persecution." The same day, the Wall Street Journal wrote, "If Mr. Fitzgerald doesn't resign of his own accord, the Justice Department should remove him."
Jurors failed to convict Blagojevich on the charge that he schemed to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama's former Senate seat. In interviews after the mistrial, jurors said the government's case was too confusing and too long, and they wanted a "smoking gun" to connect the defendant's profanity-laden talk on government wire taps with actual crimes. Some jurors and legal analysts said Fitzgerald may have had Blagojevich arrested too soon.
Within fifteen minutes after the mistrial was declared, Fitzgerald's prosecution team announced that they would definitely pursue a retrial on the twenty-three mistrial counts. A post-verdict court date was set for August 23, 2010.
Federal prosecutors reduced the number of counts for Blagojevich's retrial, and on June 27, 2011, he was found guilty of 17 of the 20 remaining charges, not guilty on one, and no verdict was rendered by the jury on two counts. He was found guilty on all charges pertaining to the Senate seat, as well as extortion relating to state funds being directed towards a children's hospital and race track. However, he was acquitted on a charge pertaining to the tollway extortion and avoided a guilty verdict (by split decision) on attempting to extort Rahm Emanuel. On December 7, 2011, Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. On June 30, 2012, Patrick Fitzgerald stepped down.
"He violated the code of ethics, the standard of the Justice Department in holding his press conference," said Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official who's now a Washington lawyer.
Earlier in his career, Fitzgerald served 13 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of Manhattan, helping prosecute organized crime as well as terrorism cases involving the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Fitzgerald's name was repeatedly mentioned as a possible replacement for FBI Director Robert Mueller, who was eventually replaced with Fitzgerald's pal, James Comey.
Obama refused to commute Blagojevich's sentence. His daughter said to Obama:
"I thought you would finally right this wrong. You didn't have to pardon him, only commute the sentence. You just had to let him come home. You didn't. You released others, like Chelsea Manning and FALN terrorists, who actually committed reprehensible crimes, but you failed to release an innocent man. I'm glad you're gone. I'm not delusional — you're not a saint. You were a mediocre president with unoriginal ideas."
The FBI wiretapped Blagojevich in 2008. Blagojevich had little love for Obama:
"This fucking Obama ran on my record, okay? He said he brought healthcare to kids. You know what I'm saying? He voted for it as a State Senator. You know, he's talking about a capital bill and spending on healthcare for working families."
"Somebody from the US Attorney's Office (or one of their former employees) leaked these classified FBI tapes to the opposition. The opposition campaign should be criminally charged for breaking the still standing court order sealing the tapes. This is clearly a case of someone from the US Attorney's office playing partisan politics, while they did everything they could to make sure we could not play the tapes that vindicated me. BTW, the tape played corroborates the fact that I was looking to appoint Lisa Madigan in exchange for more health care for Illinois citizens, a capital bill to put people to work, and a balanced budget."
How is Obama connected? Blagojevich was aware that Barack Obama would have preferred "Senate Candidate #1" (Valerie Jarrett), and he allegedly made efforts to obtain favors in exchange for appointing Jarrett for the U.S. Senate seat. Blagojevich said in a conversation with his chief of staff, in reference to what Obama would give him in exchange for Jarrett's appointment, "All they're going to give me in return is gratitude. The Senate seat's a f**ing valuable thing. F**k them." There was public speculation as to whether Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel had a role in any discussions with the governor's office. An internal investigation by the Obama team stated that Emanuel had communicated with the Governor's office about who might be appointed to the Obama seat, but nothing unethical or inappropriate had transpired. On December 10, 2008 Obama called for Blagojevich's resignation.
In a December 11 press conference, Obama stated that he, his staff and his transition team were not involved in any corrupt activity, and that his staff had been exonerated by the 76-page FBI affidavit. He stated that, not only had he never engaged the governor on the topic of his Senate seat, but he was "confident that no representative of mine would have any part in any deals related to this seat". His administration compiled a summary of who might have known what at various times. Obama stated that he did not think Blagojevich could "effectively serve the people of Illinois" and that his former Senate seat "belongs to the people". He also stated that to his knowledge, no representatives of his had engaged in any deal making with the governor. On December 15, the Obama team confirmed that its internal review found no inappropriate contact between Obama's staff and Blagojevich or his staff, stating "that review affirmed the public statements of the president-elect that he had no contact with the governor or his staff over the selection of his successor as U.S. president-elect's staff was not involved in inappropriate discussions with the governor or his staff over the selection of his successor as U.S. Senator". Right. In April 2010, Blagojevich moved to subpoena Obama. Then he went to trial and prison for 14 years.
Hmm. Sounds like a replay of what we are seeing today with Comey and Fitzgerald and his memos! A major illegal leak that took down a sitting Governor that Obama and Emmanuel wanted out of the way. Everybody covering every body else's ass. Connect the dots. Remember, Blagojevich was prosecuted by Comey's pal, Patrick Fitzgerald, who was promised a Cabinet job if he appointed an Obama-person to the Senate. That person was VALERIE JARRETT. Is Trump pardoning Blagojevich in exchange for his testimony on Comey/Fitzgerald/Obama/Jarrett?

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