Defense: Was Rezko really that powerful?

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Defense lawyer Joseph Duffy works to downplay witness Ali Ata's contention that Rezko held vast influence in the Blagojevich administration.

Duffy asked about Ata's contention that Rezko told him not to worry about talking to the feds because Rezko was working with his friend Bob Kjellander to change the U.S. Attorney.

Duffy asked Ata if he thought Rezko had influence over the President of the United States, the person who appoints the U.S. Attorney.


"Mr. Rezko informed me that Kjellander was working with (White House chief adviser Karl) Rove, whether he had influence or not..." Ata said but he was cut off.
"What I said about the change of the U.S. Attorney, is what took place," Ata said quietly, looking down.
Duffy chided Ata for lying to the FBI, something Ata was charged with.
"Did you think that Mr Rezko was going to have some power over the FBI that he was going to be able to protect you if you went in and lied to the FBI?"
"Yes," Ata said.

Duffy also questioned the level of Rezko's influence in getting Ata his job when, Ata had testified he had a long-standing relationship with 33rd ward Ald. Dick Mell -- Gov. Blagojevich's father-in-law. Ata was a longtime fund-raiser and supporter of Mell and supported Blagojevich before his run for governor.
"You didn’t need Mr. Rezko to introduce you to Gov. Blagojevich, did you?" Duffy asked.
"No," Ata said.
Ata had testified he brought a $25,000 check to the governor at Rezko's Chicago offices. Ata admitted he didn't need Rezko to get him a meeting with Blagojevich but he added that Rezko told him the governor would be there that day -- and to bring the check.

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2 Comments

When someone like Rezko, who tries to be "the man" not only to the Chicago foreigner's but also pushing his weight around as the "Gov's" go to guy, of course most people will either think he has that much power or will actually know it when they see it happening. I'm a few hundred miles away but trying to stay informed on all this garbage in the Blago administration and it sure seems as if this Rezko character lives on perceived power with everyone and showing actual power to those he was shaking down on a regular basis.

Now I want to see the Obama connection with Rezko exposed, there certainly has to be much more there than what has been barely mentioned so far. I do know that Obama, when working for the private law firm (pre-elected official), did legal work for Rezko's and other low income housing developer's affordable housing projects. Those projects were skinned, stripped and left for the vultures after Rezko and his likewise friends got their immediate cash from selling off the low-income tax credits. Obama had to know what was going on yet he claims in his books that he was just trying to do his part for the poor people of Chicago, working with these upstanding & moral developers.

I sincerely believe that Rezko and Obama were very close and that they each did each other political and business favors. The pay-off for Obama was in getting his South Chicago for at least $200,000 less than market value. A more through investigation needs to be conducted regarding all contacts such as letters, phone calls and personnal visits between these two men and the depth of any transactions or promises. This investigation needs to be done immediately. Senator Obama has refused to answer questions from the media. The voters do not want the Democratic candidate going to jail after the convention.

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Natasha Korecki

Natasha Korecki is the Federal Courts Reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, covering federal news, corruption investigations and trials.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 2, 2008 12:02 PM.

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