This morning at the Tony Rezko trial, before jurors entered the courtroom, lawyers discuss the expected testimony of Elie Maloof. Though Maloof is accused of making a straw donation to Barack Obama's campaign, lawyers and the judge this morning tiptoed around Obama's name, never mentioning it.
It appears when Maloof takes the stand in Rezko's trial, Obama will be kept out of the picture. Maloof is testifying with a grant of immunity from prosecution.
Maloof is a Rezko associate who allegedly made a straw donation to Obama's Senatorial campaign at Rezko's behest. That allegation was outlined in the government's proffer of evidence before the trial. Obama wasn't named in the proffer, he was just referred to as a political candidate.
But the Chicago Sun-Times, citing a source, reported Obama was that candidate. Obama was not accused of wrongdoing and subsequently donated Maloof's money (and other Rezko-related cash) to charity.
Prosecutor Chris Niewoehner told Judge St. Eve this morning he would talk about a couple of transactions tied to Maloof (another involving GOP heavyweight Bob Kjellander) but wouldn't elicit where the money went.