Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

December 2008
S M T W T F S
« Nov   Jan »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for December 30th, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich Shows His Chutzpah: Defies Everyone and Fills Senate Seat

Roland Burris

Roland Burris

By Jon Perkins
ticklethewire.com

Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, defying conventional political wisdom — not to mention U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his own state Democratic Party — appointed a former longtime Illinois state official to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
The appointment of former state comptroller and former state attorney general Roland W. Burris, 71, who is currently a lobbyist, is almost certain to end up in both state and federal courts. Illinois Secretary of State Jessie White has vowed not to certify the governor’s selection. Reid and Senate Democrats — including Dick Durbin, Illinois’ senior senator, have vowed not to seat Burris or any other candidate appointed by Blagojevich.
That means a showdown is virtually certain, raising doubts whether Burris will ever fill the Senate seat.
At an extraordinary Chicago news conference, Blagojevich, who faces federal corruption charges for allegedly trying to auction the Senate seat to the highest bidder, said he is making the appointment because Illinois is “entitled to two U.S. senators.” Blagojevich said that he selected Burris when the legislature failed to move on an alternative appointment process after
he was arrested on a criminal complaint Dec. 9.
“The law requires that the governor make this appointment,” he said.
Blagojevich praised Burris and asked that the “appointee be separated from the appointer.”
“This is about Roland Burris, not about the governor who appointed him.”
Burris, who reportedly has donated about $20,000 to Blagojevich’s campaigns, and whose law and lobbying firms reportedly have had contracts with the state government, declined to comment on his legal woes. Burris also denied having any connection to Blagojevich’s legal woes.
In Washington, Reid issued a statement before the Blagojevich-Burris news conference making clear where Senate Democrats stand.

Read more »

Gov. Blagojevich Press Conference

U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald Named “Fed Of The Year” by ticklethewire.com

By Jon Perkins
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON –Patrick Fitzgerald, the crusading district attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, has been named “Fed of the Year” for 2008 by ticklethewire.com. The designation is given to the federal law enforcement official who has had the most impact on news events over the course of the year.
Fitzgerald’s role as a newsmaker and a “prosecutor’s prosecutor” , widely respected by his peers, makes the 47-year-old the natural choice for this honor .
Fitzgerald has aggressively pursued public corruption and gone after such notables as fundraiser-financier Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who had ties to President-elect Barack Obama and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Rezko was convicted earlier this year.
Fitzgerald’s filing of criminal charges against Blagojevich in early December, charging the Democrat with trying to auction the Senate seat vacated by Obama, sealed the designation for us.
Fitzgerald gained national notoriety for successfully prosecuting Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby on charges related to the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson. LIbby was convicted in March 2007 of perjury and obstruction of justice. President Bush commuted his 30 month prison sentence.

Former Maryland Restaurant Cook Charged With Spying For Saddam Hussein

Documents unearthed in Iraq are giving investigators insights into who spied for Saddam Hussein. Indictments like this have been popping up around the country.

By CAROLYN THOMPSON
Associated Press Writer

An Iraq-born Canadian citizen who was picked up at the U.S. border last week was charged Monday with conspiring to spy for Saddam Hussein and Iraq.
A criminal complaint filed by the Justice Department alleges that Mouyad Mahmoud Darwish, 47, was paid to provide information to Iraqi government officials and intelligence officers in 2000 and later, including that Iraqi volunteers were being trained by the U.S. military in Virginia.
The complaint was filed in Maryland, where Darwish worked as a restaurant cook before moving back to Canada. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted of the charge of conspiracy to act as an agent for a foreign government.
For Full Story

Read FBI Affidavit

Feds Had More Wiretaps Than Previously Disclosed in Gov. Blagojevich Probe

state photo

This scandal may end up having more legs than a centipede.

BY NATASHA KORECKI AND DAVE MCKINNEY
Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — Federal authorities had more wiretaps than previously disclosed in the investigation of Gov. Blagojevich — including the cellular telephone of a member the governor’s inner circle.
A new government filing in federal court indicates that in November, authorities tapped the cell phone of “Lobbyist 1.” The Sun-Times has identified lobbyist 1 as Lon Monk, the governor’s first-term chief of staff. Monk later became a fund-raiser and state lobbyist.
The revelation that investigators captured more on secret recordings than previously disclosed, came as federal prosecutors seek to release portions of those recordings to a House Committee seeking the governor’s impeachment.
Prosecutors are asking Chief U.S. District Judge James Holderman to release portions of four recordings having to do with the governor’s alleged discussion of asking for campaign contributions in exchange for his official actions. Prosecutors will go before Holderman today to discuss the motion.
“These calls bear on a discrete episode of criminal conduct alleged in the complaint affidavit … the calls are evidence of a criminal offense that the government was authorized to monitor under the wiretap order,” prosecutors wrote in their filing.
For Full Story

See Records of Fed Subpoenas Released