Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Judge to Blagojevich lawyers: You can't see President Obama's interview with FBI

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Reporting with Sarah Ostman

Judge James Zagel denies a defense request to gain access to the FBI report summarizing then President-Elect Obama's 2008 interview with federal investigators.

Defense lawyers argued in a filing last week that the government minimized Obama's knowledge of the then-Governor's attempts to horsetrade for the Senate seat appointment. They said that testimony by government witness John Harris contradicted that portrayal by federal prosecutors.

Harris testified last week that Blagojevich believed Obama knew about Blagojevich's request for a presidential cabinet appointment in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the Senate seat.

Zagel said there was nothing relevant concerning Harris's testimony that would allow the defense access to Obama's interview.

"There's just nothing there," Zagel said.

In their filing last week, defense lawyers argued that it was the government's own witnesses and evidence who raised the issue of Obama's knowledge of the Senate seat dealings.

"Testimony elicited by the government from John Harris and wiretaps played in court raise the issue of President Obama's direct knowledge and communication with emissaries and others regarding the appointment to his senate seat," lawyers wrote in the filing.


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72 Comments

I think all of you are wrong. This is the beginning of the end for Obama and all his merry men. I believe this is a major sting for obama. Let the domino's begin to fall. Very smart, this would be the only way to get him. The trial had to be stopped, Maybe to much crime Obama was conflicting on Americans, or the coward was about to declare martial law. The prosecution could be a double agent. Believe it or not, there are bigger fish to fry. Punk obama is a no body, just another PUNK, and if this is true and I think it is, he is a stupid PUNK.
I hope I am right, because I am freakin scared.

This is just not right! This is not national security and as an elected official NO ONE is above the law!! This is so wrong.

WHAT ARE THEY HIDING? Why not release the interview?

but of course - we are now in hearings to be even more screwed with Kagan ---- IMPEACH OBAMA NOW

So what IF, Blagojevich believed Obama knew ? Or even if he did know ?
This is a defense tactic (and a good one)to muddy and confuse the waters of Mr Bs guilt.

Let's focus on Mr B NOW ... And focus on Obama later.

The Judge may have been appointed by Reagan but so was Sanda Day O'Connor and we saw how that worked out.
Plus, this guy has been in the Chicago cesspool for 20+ years.
This case should have had a change of venue because Chicago is the one place that can give Boston a lesson in political whoring and corruption.

I figure ole Blago would have got the Lt Quarles Harris Jr treatment by now!

Doesn't matter who appointed him, what matters is where he came from:

Judge Zagel, 50, was appointed by President Reagan in 1987, on the recommendations of Representative Michel. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1965. Judge Zagel was an Assistant State's Attorney in Cook County upon graduation from law school. From 1969 to 1977, he was an Assistant Attorney General in Illinois, except for six months in 1975, when he was Chief Assistant to then-Arizona Attorney General Bruce Babbitt. In 1977, Gov. Thompson named Judge Zagel Executive Director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Commission, and in 1979 he became Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue. In 1980, he became Director of the Department of Law Enforcement, which later became the Department of State Police.

Nothing to see here folks, move along. Just like nothing in the college transcripts, nothing published at Harvard Law School, nothing for a birth certificate, and nothing as a passport for visiting Indonesia while in school. BTW, all those social security numbers in his name linked back to several previous addresses are all coincidence. Just ask the judge. Geese, I want my country back.

Hugo Chavez = Barrack Obama.

So now is the FBI become the KGB and designed to protect the Leader at all costs. I think the legal thing to do is release the tape/

"Judge James Zagel is obviously a Chicago machine Dermocrap"

Actually, he is a Reagan appointee.

On February 2, 1987, President Reagan nominated James Zagel to be a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

"There's just nothing there"
Then there should not be any reason not to show us it.

Is it time to revolt yet?

Kagan Pledges to Uphold the Law

Another example of "transparency"...?

A cover up by the Administration since day 1. The President and Rahm are neck deep in this deal too. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... it is a duck... just ask Sestak, and others. One day all this corruption will be exposed, hopefully soon!

So this is how Obama gets Blago off the hook without having to pardon him after conviction.

"There's just nothing there," If the judge decides this, then why bother to have a trial at all. Just accept we are now a banana republic and have the judge declare everyone innocent or guilty based on the desires of the ruling party.

"There's just nothing there," Zagel said.

Ya sure, we be buying dat! As was said earlier, if there's nothing there........prove it.

We're supposed to take the 'word' of Judge James Zagel, a political appointee?

You can't see it because their is nothing to see.

hmmm, then why not disclose the "nothing to see" interview.. I mean unless the Judge is as corrupt as O-blame-uh..

John, you are wrong about the wire tap. With a title III warrant you can only listen in in spurts, and only continue to listen if there is something illegal going on. Things are missed easily. Learn the law.

IMPEACH OBAMA.

Judge James Zagel is obviously a Chicago machine Dermocrap

LOL

I get a kick out of reading all the comments after the news story.
Man we are so screwed and screwed up LOL.

How many wanna bet we make it to a new civil war in 20 years or less?

Joseph Armanda testified he visited Tony Rezko in prison. Perhaps the focus needs to turn back to Tony Rezko. Interestingly both the prosecutors and the defense would like everyone to forget about Tony.

Who is John Galt?

Now they can file a motion to dismiss on the grounds that due process and equal protection is impossible...

So - I assume Obama is now ABOVE the law? Did he say when he was running for POTUS that "NO ONE - Even the POTUS is above the law"? Well - I guess he considers himself above it now. Another lie from King Obama.

If y'all put as much effort into actually DOING something about it as you do WHINING about it, we wouldn't be where we are now, would we?

Blago is now going to walk because the defense will rightfuly argue he is not getting a fair shake.The judge is covering for Obama.

What do you expect from the king's men ? They are sworn to protect each others jobs first and foremost.

This judge is just as corrupt and evil as Obama and the rest of his "Chicago-way" administration gang of criminals. Nothing to see here except the wholesale dismantling of the rule of law and the perversion of our justice system.

There are no more HONEST Judges in AMERICA!
They are ALL CORRUPT!

A Chicago judge takes action to protect Obama? I'm shocked! Shocked!

Foreclose on Congress in November.

IMPEACH OBAMA NOW!!!

Either Impeach Obama or vote him out and that includes all of his democrat corrupt congress...Vote them out!!! Impeach Obama..

Granny...

I wouldn't fear it...I would KNOW it!

The country is finished.The media and corrupt politicians have done their job. Elections won't matter any more. I give up on the US.

The filthy maggot pigs enable this swill. May they rot for what they've done to this country!

How does that saying go?...We have nothing to fear, but Obama himself!

Look, Fitzgerald pulled the trigger on the discussion about Senate seat to protect people in the Obama WH. Of course they're not going to let the FBI interview in. The only thing "in" is the fix.

What is O hiding?

They should now file a motion for a immediate mistrial due to prosecution not turning over all evidence. Keep stretching this thing out and if Blago knows the suspects as I assume he does they will make it all go away! The longer he can grand stand on this, the better his chances b/c our Chief Dictator will not let the truth on this come out.

The filthy maggot pigs enable this swill. May they rot for what they've done to this country!

Now you know why they prematurely pulled down the wiretap. Someone was going to get on the phone the feds did not want to hear. Wiretaps are always let to run unless their is imminent danger of violence. There was no hint of violence. Pull down a wiretap, arrest a sitting governor on probable cause ( FBI very seldom arrests on PC} and then put Blago on trial. Blago is guilty as hell but whomever ordered the wiretap pulled is also guilty.

If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck...its a duck.
Obama is one big lie !! Does not have the ability to tell the truth.....

What irony. Obama made his political career by opening sealed files of opponents to expose tawdry secrets. Hey, Mr. Transperancy, let's see what ya got.

What did Dick Nixon say "the people have a right to know their President is not a crook." No truer words have ever been said. The fact that the interview is being withheld doesn't help calm the people down it just fans the flames. If there is nothing that would appear to be wrong doing then why don't they just release the interview. Usually where there is smoke there is fire and they would calm everyone down if they just came forward.

Where're Woodward and Bernstein when the country needs them?

Oh, I forgot... they only play for the other side.

Now the Obama Tyranny is blocking legal discovery, a fundamental tenet of American law.

I have to agree with previous poster saying, if there is nothing in the interview then why can't it be released to remove suspicion? Something is smelly in Chicago. Unfortunately, that nasty smell travels all the way to D.C.! I fear our nation is being run by Chicago-style thuggery.

What else is new? Is this not TYRANNY?

they don't call it crook county for nothin......

I don't agree with the judge not admitting the interview tapes. The defense has the right to present evidence to create reasonable doubt. Blago is the only shady SOB wrapped up in this. And the idiots of crook county would probably elect Rahmrod Emanuel as mayor once Daley steps down.....

So much for full disclosure!
Sure just tell them there is nothing there and pretend that Obama isn't connected at the hip to the worst of the worst Chicago style government crime syndicate.
Don't worry, Rep. Issa is lining up an army of investigators and prosecutors to ferret out all of the Obama administration's activities.
Even this judge won't be able to hide from it.

Every single thing Obama gets near is dirty.
He needs to be removed from power now, "By any means necessary", before he can inflict any more harm on our nation.

Patrick Fitzgerald's office has been protecting Obama going back to before the election! Just ask John Thomas. (Benard Barton to those in New York)

obama knows nothing about valerie jarret's senate seat....leave the poor guy alone

Once again, Obama and his thugs are doing whatever is necessary to cover up his questionable past and behavior.

CAN YOU SAY COVER UP BY THE JUDGE. COVER UP AND OBAMA KNEW AND DID TALK TO HIM. IS THE JUDGE A DEM?

One of the hallmarks of the U.S. judicial system used to be the notion that you were allowed to be confronted directly with your accusers. Well, here's yet another one of our cherished traditions going out the window in the new political environment that's descended upon us. This is what it means to fundamentally change things. We are losing basic liberties to speak freely and to be confronted with our accusers.

Just like the birth certificate... Nothing to see here, move along....

the state has an obligation to turn over any exculpatory evidence. by not turning it over, blago has ironclad ground for an appeal and overturn of any conviction. by time this trial is settled, obama will already be out of office. this is just a gov't tactic to protect a seated leader.

Begins to resemble the birth certificate. If there is nothing to it, show it to us!

Show me the tape..... kind of like the birth certificate......
Perhaps the actions of the past 18 months is an indicator of what is on the tape!

Can't see his FBI interview
Can't see his birth certificate
Can't see his college records
Can't see anything about Obama except his photo ops

Impeach Obama now

Are there any honest unbiased people in the power structure of your city. To outsiders, it seems not.
Scary.

if there is nothing there than show us the darn file!

uhh.. isnt up to the defense to determine whether or not the interview has anything useful? the defense is to be allowed anything and everything in the case in terms of evidence, weak or not.

Well if there is nothing there then let them hear it!

If there is nothing there, let us se it.

WOW!!! I can't believe it, the judge is protecting the President and the prosecution...I hope Milorad takes everybody down with him!

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 28, 2010 1:28 PM.

Sam Adam questioning: Blagojevich advisers were intelligent, qualified was the previous entry in this blog.

Harris: Blagojevich disliked ethics bill that targeted him and not lawmakers is the next entry in this blog.

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