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

FBI Agent in Blagojevich retrial: Bug sweeps don't always amount to much

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Reporting with Lark Turner

The morning after the Chicago Tribune outed that FBI recordings were underway of Rod Blagojevich and John Wyma was cooperating, his brother is heard on the phone talking to the Friends of Blagojevich administrative assistant, Chrissy Jacobs.

"Well, I'm freakin' out," Jacobs is heard saying on the Dec. 5, 2008 recorded call. Jacobs worked out of the Ravenswood campaign offices, along with Robert.
"Well, don't," Robert Blagojevich tells her on the call. "I mean it, there's always somethin' new everyday we gotta deal with."

Jacobs says she wants to talk to him about what was going on. He tells her to hold off until they see each other.

"I'd rather do it on the cell where no one can hear us," she says, now with irony, of course, because her words are being broadcast inside a federal courtroom. At the defense table, Rod Blagojevich is smiling.

"Well, I don't know about that," Robert Blagojevich responds. "Um it, we've had the place swept. I'd rather not talk on the phone."

"...you, you did have it? You did have it? Okay," Jacobs says.

The call is played as FBI Special Agent Dan Cain is back on the witness stand and he briefly talks about sweeping of bugs. He explains that sweeps can happen and the person looking might still not find the listening device.

Cain didn't bring up the Illinois State Police, but the Chicago Sun-Times recently reported that two top State Police officials --Larry Trent and Charles Brueggemann -- aided the FBI's efforts in placing the bugs in the campaign offices. Then, when Blagojevich asked the State Police to sweep those offices, the State Police made sure they weren't detected. Phone records show Trent and Brueggemann were in frequent talks with the FBI during significant dates in the Blagojevich investigative timeline.

The State Police alerted the FBI to the sweep requests, and the FBI
had the ability to make the bugs inert, according to law enforcement sources. In at least one sweep, a State Police technician pretended not to detect a bug during his sweep, the Sun-Times has reported.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 12, 2011 2:15 PM.

Prosecutors say Blagojevich tried to dupe Greenlee was the previous entry in this blog.

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