When Tony Rezko held a reception at his home for Iraqi-born billionaire Nadhmi Auchi on April 3, 2004, White House hopeful Barack Obama and his wife were also there, Stuart Levine testified just now at Rezko's trial.
Auchi is the man who provided Rezko a $3.5 million loan that Rezko did not disclose to the court -- resulting in his January arrest.
"Mr. and Mrs. Obama were there, were they not?" Rezko lawyer Joseph Duffy asked.
"Yes, sir," Levine said.
Obama and his aides have said Obama has no recollection of ever meeting Auchi.
Rezko invited Levine to the reception after the two met up with each other during a family vacation in Puerto Vallarta. Rezko had to leave early to arrange for the reception, Levine testified. So Levine offered to rent a larger jet and fly Rezko's wife and children back to Chicago. That night, they all attended the reception.
The reception was aimed at getting Auchi interested in investing in Illinois, Levine said.
Levine testified that Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn was there.
"The governor was a no-show?" Duffy asked.
Levine: "I don’t know that he was a no-show. I seem to recall..."
Duffy: "Was Gov. Blagojevich present?"
Levine: "Uh, no sir."
That reception has raised questions over whether Auchi should have been allowed into the United States because of legal problems he's faced overseas. Auchi, who lives in London, was named one of the wealthiest men in the world by Forbes Magazine.
This is a different reception than one held at the Four Seasons Hotel, where Blagojevich was present.
Here's the Sun-Times story on the Rezko-Auchi relationship and the hotel reception:
The Feb. 28 story: Tony Rezko's billionaire buddy