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Feds supoena Blagojevich about contacts with Axelrod, Jarrett, now top Obama White House staffers

| 9 Comments

DAVE MCKINNEY AND CHRIS FUSCO
Chicago Sun-Times Staff Reporters

Newly released subpoenas that Gov. Blagojevich fought to keep secret show federal prosecutors are looking at potential criminal wrongdoing that would go beyond charges he already faces -- involving everything from state road contracts awarded to campaign donors to his wife Patti's real estate dealings.

The subpoenas also seek information about any contacts the governor's administration had with two top advisers to President Obama, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett.

"It's clearly beyond matters in the criminal complaint, which was sweeping in its own right," said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association, whose legal fight forced Blagojevich to make the subpoenas public late Friday. "It demonstrates the feds have been looking for a long time. And, up to a relatively recent time, they've been gathering more information."

Responding to open-records requests, the governor's office released 44 subpoenas it had been swamped with since 2005. Two have been issued since Blagojevich's Dec. 9 arrest.

The most recent subpoenas went to the state Capital Development Board and the Illinois Department of Transportation on Dec. 11. They sought records on "bid proposals submitted by and/or awarded to" 22 contractors, including several who have contributed large sums to the governor's campaign fund.

Two other subpoenas to the governor's office came on Dec. 8, the day before the governor was arrested on corruption charges that accused him of, among other things, trying to sell an appointment to replace Obama in the U.S. Senate.

Those subpoenas asked for records relating to Patti Blagojevich; her business, River Realty; the governor's brother, Robert Blagojevich; the governor's campaign fund, and 30 other people and companies, including Axelrod and Jarrett. Jarrett was alluded to in the Dec. 9 criminal complaint against the governor as a potential Senate candidate Blagojevich was considering. Axelrod did not surface in the complaint. Neither is charged with any wrongdoing.

In an earlier wave of subpoenas, federal investigators in April 2007 asked the administration for: the schedules and calendars of the governor and first lady; records dating back to January 2003 relating to the use of state aircraft by the governor and his campaign fund, and all travel vouchers for the governor, his staff and his security detail.

The most intense round of grand jury subpoenas came during October 2005, when the governor's office was hit 17 times for hiring records. At that time, as Blagojevich was preparing to embark on his 2006 re-election campaign, the administration acknowledged receiving only four subpoenas.

Blagojevich's spokesman, Lucio Guerrero, said Blagojevich isn't surprised by the feds' continued interest. "The governor has said that anyone in public office should expect to be scrutinized, so it isn't unexpected," Guerrero said.

DAVE MCKINNEY AND CHRIS FUSCO
Chicago Sun-Times Staff Reporters

Newly released subpoenas that Gov. Blagojevich fought to keep secret show federal prosecutors are looking at potential criminal wrongdoing that would go beyond charges he already faces -- involving everything from state road contracts awarded to campaign donors to his wife Patti's real estate dealings.

The subpoenas also seek information about any contacts the governor's administration had with two top advisers to President Obama, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett.

"It's clearly beyond matters in the criminal complaint, which was sweeping in its own right," said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association, whose legal fight forced Blagojevich to make the subpoenas public late Friday. "It demonstrates the feds have been looking for a long time. And, up to a relatively recent time, they've been gathering more information."

Responding to open-records requests, the governor's office released 44 subpoenas it had been swamped with since 2005. Two have been issued since Blagojevich's Dec. 9 arrest.

The most recent subpoenas went to the state Capital Development Board and the Illinois Department of Transportation on Dec. 11. They sought records on "bid proposals submitted by and/or awarded to" 22 contractors, including several who have contributed large sums to the governor's campaign fund.

Two other subpoenas to the governor's office came on Dec. 8, the day before the governor was arrested on corruption charges that accused him of, among other things, trying to sell an appointment to replace Obama in the U.S. Senate.

Those subpoenas asked for records relating to Patti Blagojevich; her business, River Realty; the governor's brother, Robert Blagojevich; the governor's campaign fund, and 30 other people and companies, including Axelrod and Jarrett. Jarrett was alluded to in the Dec. 9 criminal complaint against the governor as a potential Senate candidate Blagojevich was considering. Axelrod did not surface in the complaint. Neither is charged with any wrongdoing.

In an earlier wave of subpoenas, federal investigators in April 2007 asked the administration for: the schedules and calendars of the governor and first lady; records dating back to January 2003 relating to the use of state aircraft by the governor and his campaign fund, and all travel vouchers for the governor, his staff and his security detail.

The most intense round of grand jury subpoenas came during October 2005, when the governor's office was hit 17 times for hiring records. At that time, as Blagojevich was preparing to embark on his 2006 re-election campaign, the administration acknowledged receiving only four subpoenas.

Blagojevich's spokesman, Lucio Guerrero, said Blagojevich isn't surprised by the feds' continued interest. "The governor has said that anyone in public office should expect to be scrutinized, so it isn't unexpected," Guerrero said.

9 Comments

Though I am not a supporter of Blago, I didn't vote for him. I do see this as a coverup to keep Obama, Rahm and other from being implicated.

Typical Chicago politics they will burn their own to coverup what is the norm in politics here.

Good. Maybe now the Dems will wake up and realize that there's been NO INDICTMENT (he's 90 days away, he said WEEKS after he arrested the guy), yet a very unprofessional trial by media involving not just a federal prosecutor but the F.B.I.. These law enforcement officials are SUPPOSED to set the example for the podunk law enforcement officials. I don't care if Blago is Charles blankety Manson his own self---he deserves better treatment than this. And if we DON"T care of the least, or the WORST among us, there is not hope to protect the constitutional rights of the rest of us.
So WHAT he tried shaking down the editorial boazrd of the trib--these people endorsed BOTH Bushes (one after he'd stolen an election and let a faked up/or lead an effort to crash the WTC's--all that 9/11 crap and the WMDS and you name it).

Sounds like Fitzgerald has been after Blago in a witch-hunt for years. This seems like blatant harassment and an effort to drive the man out of office, by any means necessary. Fitzgerald didn't want to have Blago to have the benefit of the Governor's position and state funds to defend himself, so he held that grandstanding press conference to set of a mass media publicity lynching of Blago. Looks like Fitzgerald is getting the lynching he wanted.

There's a difference between Blago, Gandhi & King. Gandhi & King didn't have Patrick Fitzgerald hold a grand-standing press conference and trigger a mass media publicity lynching of them.

Failure ro respond to a federal court subpoena in a reasonable time should be an impeachable act in and of itself.

BLAGOJEVICH SHOULD TAKE DOWN WITH HIM AS MANY AS HE POSSIBLY CAN.....LEAVING NO PRISONERS !


Since Gov Blagojevich is so deep in the tank with all kind of things , he wisely is going to radio shows, tv press, etc,...and that is all good ,... this is America, and if CORRUPTION and DISHONESTY are the clues ( among others ) for to make ANYONE to be in ANYTHING , so why not?, right ? American freedom,... anyone can speak freely.

Will not take for surprise, that if Blagojevich continues this path, sooner than we can imagine he will start giving names ( VERY INTERESTING ONES ! ) away ,about everything and anything.
And , you know what ?, I think is not so bad idea,...for the CHICAGO CORRUPTED POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE ,IS FOUNDATION TO A NUMBER OF POLITICIANS IN THE HIGH LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT . An, so,... that if he is so much back-stabbed by his OWN KIND ,...I do think that would be ok, to take as many down with him, don't you think?

AAAHHH!!! the adventure will be so good !, that the dramas by Shakespeare will have no impact in literature any longer! Correct !,... for the 'Obama Era' will definitely trump anything and everyting, before and after the cave-man period,...he-he-he historians will go really bananas then!

Well, after all someting good we have to pull out of this insanity !,....the conversion of capitalism to socialism-marxism in good 'ol USA ! YIKES !,... quite pathetic scenario.
And all thank to the a bunch of COCOZOIDS, WACKADOOS, and BRAINLESS ZELOIDS !....uhf! , go figure that one out !

Do not choke on your cookies.

Daniel Cabrera
Merrillville, Indiana

YOU ARE IN A HEEP OF TROUBLE, BOY!
HE MIGHT GET OFF BY REASON OF MENTAL DEFECT!

Lynn Sweet,

This is why blogs like yours are successful. When the mainstream media, so overtly in the tank for the Left, delicately look the other way instead of taking responsibility for actually reporting the news, the blogs rise in the MSM's place.

I can't and won't hope that Obama fails, because if he fails, the economy fails, world problems get worse, and we all suffer -- all of us, that is, who aren't independently wealthy like talk-show radio star Rush Limbaugh.

But if Pres. Obama and/or his staff have something to answer for, we need to know. Even if we don't want to know, even if we desperately want hope and change and don't care what we have to do to get the economy on track and make the world a less violent and hateful place, we still need to know the truth.

Thank you for doing your part!

Lynn Sweet,

This is why blogs like yours are successful. When the mainstream media, so overtly in the tank for the Left, delicately look the other way instead of taking responsibility for actually reporting the news, the blogs rise in the MSM's place.

I can't and won't hope that Obama fails, because if he fails, the economy fails, world problems get worse, and we all suffer -- all of us, that is, who aren't independently wealthy like talk-show radio star Rush Limbaugh.

But if Pres. Obama and/or his staff have something to answer for, we need to know. Even if we don't want to know, even if we desperately want hope and change and don't care what we have to do to get the economy on track and make the world a less violent and hateful place, we still need to know the truth.

Thank you for doing your part!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 24, 2009 11:44 AM.

Feds supoena Blagojevich about contacts with Axelrod, Jarrett, now top Obama White House staffers was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich in NBC interview compares himself to Gandhi, King and Mandela is the next entry in this blog.

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