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Rezko Might Be Cooperating With Feds

POSTED: 03:04 PM ET, 09/30/2008 by Derek Kravitz


Antoin "Tony" Rezko arrives at a federal courthouse in Chicago for the verdict in his corruption trial, Wednesday, June 4, 2008. (AP)

Antoin "Tony" Rezko, the Chicago political influence peddler whose relationship with Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama has been highlighted by Obama's political opponents, might be helping the government mount a corruption case against the state's governor.

Rezko, 53, the one-time real-estate developer and fast-food entrepreneur, was convicted in June of mail fraud, attempted extortion and money laundering after prosecutors say he tried to get $7 million in bribes from a contractor to do business in Illinois.

Rezko, who was a key adviser in Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration, also raised money for Obama's Illinois state campaigns and [bought an adjacent property near the senator's Chicago mansion]. Since Rezko's criminal case, Obama has donated $159,000 of Rezko-connected contributions to charity.

The Chicago Tribune is now reporting that four separate attorneys in Illinois have said Rezko is talking to federal investigators, a development that "has sent ripples through a tight circle of prominent defense attorneys who represent dozens of potential witnesses and targets in the wide-ranging probe."

Rezko's cooperation in the ongoing case against Blagojevich and his wife would give investigators access to someone the Tribune described as the "ultimate political insider at the center of a pervasive pay-to-play scheme."

In court filings, Rezko said he had been approached by prosecutors several times before his trial and was asked repeatedly about Blagojevich and Obama.

[Added:] Later, Rezko' attorney, Joseph Duffy, said that statement was misleading. 'I'm not aware of any impropriety related to Rezko and Obama,' Duffy said. 'At no point has the government ever asked me a single question about Obama, or any wrongdoing involving Rezko and Obama,'" The Tribune reported.

(Obama's relationship with Rezko was lampooned during the most recent episode of "Saturday Night Live," with the John McCain character criticizing Obama's support for a $8.1 million earmark for the "Tony Rezko hush fund." Obama's character fired back: ""Sen. McCain, you know I withdrew that initiative after he began cooperating with federal authorities.")

By Derek Kravitz |  September 30, 2008; 3:04 PM ET Blagojevich Scandal
Previous: Bailout Failure, China Milk Scandal, New Special Prosecutor | Next: Ex-Confidant Testifies Against Stevens

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Indictment coming! Well Mr. Obama should have been vetted by the msm. Mr. Rezko is cooperating with the feds and turning on the messiah as well as the Gov. of Illinois. You heard it first from me, a little birdie told me this will happen in the next few weeks! Maybe now people will realize why Bill Clinton has been so smug the last few weeks.

Posted by: Billy | September 30, 2008 3:30 PM

Wow, it sure isn't difficult to scoop the idiot, sclerotic Washington Post! This story has only been circulating for three days! Great reporting, dummy Kravitz. Here's another scoop for you, bozo, as well as for Obama's scummy, grifter, trash supporters.


Obama will be indicted within the next three weeks. Blagojevich is very close to indictment at this time. The 18 USC 1346 charges in the indictment against Obama center on:

(1) setting up the planning board scheme;

(2) accepting the $20,000 kickbacks from the first pension board pay-to-pay scheme;

and (3) the real estate deal with the mansion and lot.

You'll never get the details of this from the idiotic, sclerotic Post. So for full details of the Syrian mafia flunkey (you know--Alsammare, Auchi, General Mediterranean, all the pay-to-play scum) go to Evelyn Pringle's "Curtain Time" articles at opednews.

And use the Post to line your bird cage. This newspaper is garbage.

Posted by: John Ryskamp | September 30, 2008 3:37 PM

Rezko was one of the first to support Obama in his bid for the State senate.
Obama has been wheeling and dealing with Rezko for close to 20 years.
Why do you think Rezko had his wife buy the house and yard with Obama? He was broke and had a number of lawsuit's he was fighting. This was to hide an asset from his creditors.
He had to pay back Obama for his help getting the crooked billionaire Nadhmi Auchi into this country.
Rezko was also involved in a number of crooked deals in Iraq and he also needed help getting his partner out of jail in Iraq.
The money used to buy Obama's yard came from Auchi.

Posted by: Obama's Rezko relationship | September 30, 2008 4:00 PM

Rezko is an influence peddler. He gets a campaign contribution to the Governor’s fund then the contributor either gets a state job or contracts with the State of Illinois. The governor’s wife is a real estate agent. She sells a piece of property for an excessive commission and a few weeks later those who bought the property get a State contract. It’s called Pay to Play in Illinois. Rezko helped Obama buy his Chicago Mansion which he could not afford as a new State Representative. Rezko also bought the property next door to Obama and then sold it to Obama for a loss. Why? To gain influence. Email Jones is the Governor’s point man in the State Senate and has blocked all Bills that came out of the House of Representatives that the Governor did not want passed. That includes a bill to impeach the Governor. Email Jones was also Obama’s political mentor in the Capital. Jones gave Obama a few popular Bills to pass that he knew nothing about. But Obama voted “present” about 100 times in his short tenure in the capital so bills that they did not wanted passed died. That’s why Obama has no record of doing anything while in the state legislature. The last week in October Obama has problem because Rezko is going to sentenced and there is great pressure from his people to get the hearing pushed back to after the election. If not they are begging the US Attorney in Chicago to make sure Obama’s name is not mentioned at the hearing and is under seal till after the election. Every one in Chicago knows this and we are at a loss why the rest of the county is unaware!

Posted by: ChicagoTom | September 30, 2008 4:34 PM

Unfortunately, early voting has begun in a number of states, several of them swing states. Obama's sins, among them ACORN's voter fraud and ACORN Housing's direct contribution to Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac's meltdown, will never get out to the general voting public. Obama has engineered this election from the start and has had full cooperation from the fawning media. Get ready to live in a socialist country.

Posted by: Casey | September 30, 2008 4:42 PM

The Bush administration had to fire a whole bunch of US attorneys before the could find someone who would pursue this one just before the elections. The US attorney was hand picked by Monica Goodling, so of course you can trust him.

Posted by: voter | September 30, 2008 5:21 PM

Evelyn Pringle's articles at OpEd news are a must read for the back story on the Rezko Affair. If they're no longer posted there, do an Internet search on her name and look for Operation Board Games. The articles are long and detailed, unlike this "article" or whatever this is. The story has been ignored all year thanks to a media no longer in service to the public.

Posted by: Mandelay | September 30, 2008 5:27 PM

US Attorney Fitzgerald has been in Chicago for years. He has indicted 48 people in Mayor Daley's Administration. 46 convictions, one died whial awaiting trial, and the last one is set to start in a few weeks. That's 46 convictions out of 46 indictments. Not a bad batting average! So your dead wrong about the US Attorney. p.s. I'am a dem who is sick of this machine in Chicago. let them all go to jail!

Posted by: Chicago tom | September 30, 2008 5:33 PM

Apparently Billy doesn't know how to read. His lawyer said they aren't speaking at all about Obama.

I just love reading the posts of GOPers hoping against hope to derail Obama. They smack of desperation in the worst way.

Posted by: Phxflyer | September 30, 2008 6:08 PM

Apparently Billy doesn't know how to read. His lawyer said they aren't speaking at all about Obama.

I just love reading the posts of GOPers hoping against hope to derail Obama. They smack of desperation in the worst way.

Posted by: Phxflyer | September 30, 2008 6:10 PM

Uh Oh here comes the Obama indictment.
http://www.theobamaplan.com

Posted by: Dan | September 30, 2008 6:24 PM

Ahhhh...the smell of desperate McCain supporters is starting to smell less putrid. Or, maybe I'm just getting used to it.

Maybe a giant bird will come and carry Obama off into its nest on a secret high mountain cliff -- or an alien spaceship will beam him up so they can study an "Elite" Democrat...

Just keep hoping McCainiacs...

Keep looking for a Lucky Rabbit's Foot or Four Leaf Clovers -- maybe your Fairy Godmother will wave her magic wand...

Ha!

Posted by: Louise | September 30, 2008 6:31 PM

Politicians deal with all kinds of people. It may surprise many to know that even these low-lifes are citizens. Politicians represent them all. Assuming that Obama knows the difference between right and wrong, he has acted prudently by giving away the campaign finds that came from Rezko.

McCain has his own past problems. McCain's past makes Obama's situation with Rezko look like child's play.

McCain's campaign of lies sets a new low in political campaigning in this country. This effort by McCain is interesting since McCain suffered in SC by Republican lies in 2000. If anyone should know the effects of lies, it is McCain. He says that he learned from his past mistakes.

Posted by: EarlC | September 30, 2008 6:32 PM

"Apparently Billy doesn't know how to read. "

What do you expect? He's a McCain supporter.

Posted by: tom | September 30, 2008 6:37 PM

The last Illinois governor was a Republican and was sent up by Fitzgerald. The Republican dominated government turned over to a Democrat who promised to clean things up, but it seems he continued to do business using some of the same Republican power brokers, who liked money more than party. If the gov. goes down, the story is he is likely to take down some high ranking GOPer's with him.

Obama is in the clear since the case involves influence peddling in the governor's office and his name was brought up at the Rezko trial, not by Fitzgerald, but as a character reference by the defense.

The case was all about hanky panky in the executive branch, not in the legislature. FYI, in the City of Chicago, Obama was never a part of the power structure and was not the chosen candidate of the organization when he ran for the US Senate.

Posted by: Rick | September 30, 2008 7:25 PM

LEt me tell you this....It won't matter if Obama is indicted! The Obama Nation won't care they will still vote for him. As they say unless he is caought with a dead 13 year old boy in his bed...(and in this case even more then that perhaps)Obamanauts will still vote for the biggest flip flopper since well since a beached carp!

Posted by: Stephen | September 30, 2008 8:26 PM

You dumbsh.it morons are so FOOONEY. Obama Obama Obama.

Try this one:

PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA

Sounds pretty good to me.

Posted by: POed Lib | September 30, 2008 9:57 PM

Why is it Obama's bloggers can never offer a rebuttal that is not simply nasty, hate-filled slime. If you want me to vote for BO, give me a REASON, not mindless in-my-face drivel.

Posted by: postblogger | September 30, 2008 10:15 PM

No one is guilty until they are proven.
So stop the gambling McShame and his surrogates.
If you try to do something funny in this election, it is going to fire back at you.
So, elect a sensible leader.
Not the one that is going to die in the office nor the stupid bimbo.

Posted by: America | September 30, 2008 10:23 PM

Rezko won't squeel on Obama he thinks he will get a pardon if Obama wins.

Posted by: Vote Mcain-Palin | September 30, 2008 10:40 PM

Please, McCain corruption and influence pedeling is well known especially among the gambling elites not to mention his accompanying Fredie Mac and Fanny Mae teammates. What a fan of Indians that man McCain. Give me a break. Republicans middle name is corruption. John Phony Baloney Corruption Craps Lover McCain and his sidekick Know Nothing Moronic Palin -- a ticket you can believe in! Right now sell me another gambling casino! How about John McCain -- COUNTRY LAST!

Posted by: Natalie Rosen | September 30, 2008 10:49 PM

James A. Johnson, Obama's VP vetter and advisor (had to step down) is the ex CEO of Fannie Mae, taking a 2.1 million bonus upon leaving (some say more $$$):

From Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Johnson_(businessman)

He founded and headed Public Strategies, a private consulting firm, from 1981 to 1985 before leaving for LEHMAN BROTHERS.

From 1991 to 1998, he served as chairman and chief executive officer of the Federal National Mortgage Association (FANNIE MAE), ... during Johnson's tenure as CEO, Fannie Mae had improperly deferred $200 million in expenses...

Ya'all ought to be looking into the other half of Obama's brain, Valerie Jarrett.

My point is... it's not just Rezko...

Posted by: DD | September 30, 2008 11:10 PM

Know what your talking about before you write lies and innuendo. Like rezko bought the house because Obama didn't have the money,really? Try he bought it after he earned 4 million dollars from his book sales for Audacity of Hope.
Try again trolls.

Posted by: jime | September 30, 2008 11:48 PM

Obama's connection with Acorn is a bigger story than Rezko. Acorn is connected to the financial mess, and there's serious voter fraud going on.

Posted by: Martin | September 30, 2008 11:55 PM


We know Rezko and the Daley machine created Obama. Now Rezko is in prison, convicted on numerous felony counts. We know Rezko bought the property next to Obama's mansion and without which Obama could not have afforded his property. Does anyone really think this purchase was coincidence? C'mon. It's called Quid Pro Quo. We know what Obama got in the deal, maybe now we'll find out what Rezko got.

Posted by: Helping Libs Understand... | September 30, 2008 11:56 PM

Posted by: Stonecipher | October 1, 2008 11:10 AM

Read the article idiots! It make no reference to Obama. A pipe and dream, indeed!

Posted by: Dan | October 1, 2008 5:56 PM

News flash: Illinois governors of both parties tend to get corrupted. Is Senator Obama somehow responsible for that or is the McCain pom-pom squad desperately trying to whip up hysteria in order to distract attention from the fact their Fearless Hero's campaign is collapsing? Next they'll be telling us Barack is a Muslim.

Posted by: GeneralZygote | October 1, 2008 6:37 PM

News flash: Illinois governors of both parties tend to get corrupted. Is Senator Obama somehow responsible for that or is the McCain pom-pom squad desperately trying to whip up hysteria in order to distract attention from the fact their Fearless Hero's campaign is collapsing? Next they'll be telling us Barack is a Muslim.

Posted by: GeneralZygote | October 1, 2008 6:43 PM

Most of our elected officials are criminals of some sort. This is not news. This is what people want. Why else would they be elected? Just remember that in a fascist society & government, which is what we have, the montrously criminal and deviate rise to the top. Can any one say Billiary? How about Obama? But look at the support. Criminals support criminals would will sorta share the booty.

Posted by: Kuni Lemmel | October 2, 2008 11:57 AM

Accusing McCain of corruption based on the Keating 5. The media loves dragging this one out, and simply referring to it, not reporting on it. Sounds better that way.

The only reason McCain wasn't dropped from the investigation is that he was the only Republican looked into. Naked politics. The lead investigator for the Dems, Robert Bennet, advised the committee committee to drop McCain from the investigation because there was no evidence of wrongdoing. Bennett recently reaffirmed those details. The Dems refused to drop McCain because it would have made the party look bad.

And one more thing... McCain has admitted he made mistakes, such as not avoiding the appearance of something wrong. But he has worked for years to reform campaign finance, against strong opposition from Republicans.

Obama has not done this - he is the first candidate ever to refuse public financing for the general election too! (After he lied, and said he would take it...) But he never apologizes, just lies, and excuses, and turns on whoever he can use as a scapegoat until the next thing comes up. The bodies are piling up all around him. At this point, based on what the media and the campaign are putting out, Obama really is the messiah, because he is perfect. It is just that everyone that he has ever been in contact with in his entire life is seriously flawed. Oh yeah, and if you don't vote for him, it is because you are a closet racist - not because of his policies and character.

Posted by: TT | October 2, 2008 2:50 PM

It can't be...Black men don't commit crimes, even "half-breed Muslins" (sp.)
No one from the Senate would even think about doing anythign illegal or taking bribes or using their 'influence' to get what they want at others' expense. It will all be washed under the rug. Time for the revolution. Congress. YOU'RE FIRED !!

Posted by: Say it isn't so... | October 2, 2008 2:52 PM

If people haven't seen what the Dems have done to this election then they are just blind. Break it down. Hillary was blindsided period. The good old boy network with Dean at the head knew just how to out fox the Clintons by using their own game. The Dems knew that America would flip for the first black candidate. Who by the way many think was a poor boy, of which has been proven false time and time again because of his white grandparents who sent him to private schools. The Democrats and Obama especially are a party of death they push the choice option over and over again. A country that pushes annihilating the innocent will not survive. Of course no one will ever address the fact that the number one looser in the Dems game are the black people who have lost a generation of children to Planned Parenthood. I'd like to know where their Pastors are. Rev Wright never stood up for these children why should he? I wonder what percentage of the over 1500 abortions performed each week are still destroying this race. Obama well he voted for not providing health care for a child even when they did survive an abortion. And anyone who is a Dem and want's to argue the War issue I suggest you not go there because legalized killing of the innocent can not be in any way compared to your feelings about the war.

Posted by: Maureen | October 2, 2008 9:48 PM

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