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

Blagojevich retrial agent: FBI describes "Wire Room"

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Dan Cain is now on the stand for the prosecution. He's the FBI guru who's been on the state corruption investigation since 2003 -- long before Rod Blagojevich was a target.

With secret recordings playing such a huge role in this trial, and a constant source of dispute, Cain is describing how the FBI took the evidence.

Cain, an accountant before he joined the FBI, explains this methodically.

Interception of calls happened at a secure FBI office in the Chicago area, Cain says.
It all went down in "The Wire Room," a secure location in an FBI facility where the listening equipment is located.
The calls are transmitted from telephone lines, the computer system captures it. The agents record the calls. The calls are recorded onto discs digitally. One disc is marked "original." One is marked "working copy." A disc was sealed and brought to a judge after 30 days. A federal judge has to oversee a wiretapping investigation. In this case, several extensions were granted from Oct. 22 to Dec 9, 2008.

Important point: Cain explains that the number of "sessions" of recordings is different than the number of conversations recorded. That's big because the defense has made much hay over the "thousands" of conversations that had been recorded but just a fraction were played at trial. Cain explains that the numbers could be deceptive: one conversation could get several session numbers. If a call was interrupted by call waiting, it would get a new number.


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1 Comment

How do they work it when informants like Frawley are wearing a wire? Are they tape recording devices or transmitters? I remember when Stuart Levine testified that he had 2 recorders and they both malfunctioned...

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 3, 2011 10:11 AM.

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