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Author: Subject: Illinois democrat governor arrested

Peach Extraordinaire





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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 10:28 AM
LOL. Apparently it's a "no-no" to sell BarryO's senate seat to the highest bidder. These are the 'progressive' folks who sponsered and supported our president-elect, boys and girls. Gotta love that "hope" and "change"!

# # #

Details Of Complaint Against Blagojevich
CHICAGO (CBS) &#8213; Full release from U.S. Attorney's Office:

Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges alleging that they and others are engaging in ongoing criminal activity: conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leveraging his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator; threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical of Blagojevich; and to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions both historically and now in a push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009.

Blagojevich, 51, and Harris, 46, both of Chicago, were each charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. They were charged in a two-count criminal complaint that was sworn out on Sunday and unsealed today following their arrests, which occurred without incident, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Both men were expected to appear later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

A 76-page FBI affidavit alleges that Blagojevich was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps during the last month conspiring to sell or trade Illinois' U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama for financial and other personal benefits for himself and his wife. At various times, in exchange for the Senate appointment, Blagojevich discussed obtaining:

A substantial salary for himself at a either a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions;

Placing his wife on paid corporate boards where he speculated she might garner as much as $150,000 a year;

Promises of campaign funds including cash up front; and

A cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself.

Just last week, on December 4, Blagojevich allegedly told an advisor that he might "get some (money) up front, maybe" from Senate Candidate 5, if he named Senate Candidate 5 to the Senate seat, to insure that Senate Candidate 5 kept a promise about raising money for Blagojevich if he ran for re-election. In a recorded conversation on October 31, Blagojevich claimed he was approached by an associate of Senate Candidate 5 as follows: "We were approached 'pay to play.' That, you know, he'd raise 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator."

On November 7, while talking on the phone about the Senate seat with Harris and an advisor, Blagojevich said he needed to consider his family and that he is "financially" hurting, the affidavit states. Harris allegedly said that they were considering what would help the "financial security" of the Blagojevich family and what will keep Blagojevich "politically viable." Blagojevich stated, "I want to make money," adding later that he is interested in making $250,000 to $300,000 a year, the complaint alleges.

On November 10, in a lengthy telephone call with numerous advisors that included discussion about Blagojevich obtaining a lucrative job with a union-affiliated organization in exchange for appointing a particular Senate Candidate whom he believed was favored by the President-elect and which is described in more detail below, Blagojevich and others discussed various ways Blagojevich could "monetize" the relationships he has made as governor to make money after leaving that office. "The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering," Mr. Fitzgerald said. "They allege that Blagojevich put a 'for sale' sign on the naming of a United States Senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism. The citizens of Illinois deserve public officials who act solely in the public's interest, without putting a price tag on government appointments, contracts and decisions," he added.

Mr. Grant said: "Many, including myself, thought that the recent conviction of a former governor would usher in a new era of honesty and reform in Illinois politics. Clearly, the charges announced today reveal that the office of the Governor has become nothing more than a vehicle for self-enrichment, unrestricted by party affiliation and taking Illinois politics to a new low."

Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Grant thanked the Chicago offices of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General for assisting in the ongoing investigation. The probe is part of Operation Board Games, a five-year-old public corruption investigation of pay-to-play schemes, including insider-dealing, influence-peddling and kickbacks involving private interests and public duties.

Federal agents today also executed search warrants at the offices of Friends of Blagojevich located at 4147 North Ravenswood, Suite 300, and at the Thompson Center office of Deputy Governor A.

Pay-to-Play Schemes

The charges include historical allegations that Blagojevich and Harris schemed with others including previously convicted defendants Antoin Rezko, Stuart Levine, Ali Ata and others since becoming governor in 2002 to obtain and attempt to obtain financial benefits for himself, his family and third parties, including his campaign committee, Friends of Blagojevich, in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions, state employment, state contracts and access to state funds. A portion of the affidavit recounts the testimony of various witnesses at Rezko's trial earlier this year.

The charges focus, however, on events since October when the Government obtained information that Blagojevich and Fundraiser A, who is chairman of Friends of Blagojevich, were accelerating Blagojevich's allegedly corrupt fund-raising activities to accumulate as much money as possible this year before a new state ethics law would severely curtail Blagojevich's ability to raise money from individuals and entities that have existing contracts worth more than $50,000 with the State of Illinois. Agents learned that Blagojevich was seeking approximately $2.5 million in campaign contributions by the end of the year, principally from or through individuals or entities many of which have received state contacts or appointments identified on a list maintained by Friends of Blagojevich, which the FBI has obtained.

The affidavit details multiple incidents involving efforts by Blagojevich to obtain campaign contributions in connection with his official actions as governor, including these three in early October:

* After an October 6 meeting with Harris and Individuals A and B, during which Individual B sought state help with a business venture, Blagojevich told Individual A to approach Individual B about raising $100,000 for Friends of Blagojevich this year. Individual A said he later learned that Blagojevich reached out directly to Individual B to ask about holding a fund-raiser;

* Also on October 6, Blagojevich told Individual A that he expected Highway Contractor 1 to raise $500,000 in contributions and that he was willing to commit additional state money to a Tollway project beyond $1.8 billion that Blagojevich announced on October15 but was waiting to see how much money the contractor raised for Friends of Blagojevich; and

* On October 8, Blagojevich told Individual A that he wanted to obtain a $50,000 contribution from Hospital Executive 1, the chief executive officer of Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, which had recently received a commitment of $8 million in state funds. When the contribution was not forthcoming, Blagojevich discussed with Deputy Governor A the feasibility of rescinding the funding.

On October 21, the Government obtained a court order authorizing the interception of conversations in both a personal office and a conference room used by Blagojevich at the offices of Friends of Blagojevich. The FBI began intercepting conversations in those rooms on the morning of October 22. A second court order was obtained last month allowing those interceptions to continue. On October 29, a court order was signed authorizing the interception of conversations on a hardline telephone used by Blagojevich at his home. That wiretap was extended for 30 days on November 26, according to the affidavit.

Another alleged example of a pay-to-play scheme was captured in separate telephone conversations that Blagojevich had with Fundraiser A on November 13 and Lobbyist 1 on December 3. Lobbyist 1 was reporting to Blagojevich about his efforts to collect a contribution from Contributor 1 and related that he "got in his face" to make it clear to Contributor 1 that a commitment to make a campaign contribution had to be done now, before there could be some skittishness over the timing of the contribution and Blagojevich signing a bill that would benefit Contributor 1. Blagojevich commented to Lobbyist 1 "good" and "good job." The bill in question, which is awaiting Blagojevich 's signature, is believed to be legislation that directs a percentage of casino revenue to the horse racing industry.

Sale of U.S. Senate Appointment

Regarding the Senate seat, the charges allege that Blagojevich, Harris and others have engaged and are engaging in efforts to obtain personal gain, including financial gain, to benefit Blagojevich and his family through corruptly using Blagojevich's sole authority to appoint a successor to the unexpired term of the President-elect's former Senate seat, which he resigned effective November 16. The affidavit details numerous conversations about the Senate seat between November 3 and December 5. In these conversations, Blagojevich repeatedly discussed the attributes of potential candidates, including their abilities to benefit the people of Illinois, and the financial and political benefits he and his wife could receive if he appointed various of the possible candidates.

Throughout the intercepted conversations, Blagojevich also allegedly spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat and expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including: frustration at being "stuck" as governor; a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor; a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016; avoiding impeachment by the Illinois legislature; making corporate contacts that would be of value to him after leaving public office; facilitating his wife's employment as a lobbyist; and generating speaking fees should he decide to leave public office.

In the earliest intercepted conversation about the Senate seat described in the affidavit, Blagojevich told Deputy Governor A on November 3 that if he is not going to get anything of value for the open seat, then he will take it for himself: "if . . . they're not going to offer anything of any value, then I might just take it." Later that day, speaking to Advisor A, Blagojevich said: "I'm going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain." He added later that the seat "is a [expletive] valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing."

Over the next couple of days Election Day and the day after Blagojevich was captured discussing with Deputy Governor A whether he could obtain a cabinet position, such as Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Department of Energy or various ambassadorships. In a conversation with Harris on November 4, Blagojevich analogized his situation to that of a sports agent shopping a potential free agent to the highest bidder. The day after the election, Harris allegedly suggested to Blagojevich that the President-elect could make him the head of a private foundation.

Later on November 5, Blagojevich said to Advisor A, "I've got this thing and it's [expletive] golden, and, uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I'm not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there," the affidavit states.

Two days later, in a three-way call with Harris and Advisor B, a consultant in Washington, Blagojevich and the others allegedly discussed the prospect of a three-way deal for the Senate appointment involving an organization called "Change to Win," which is affiliated with various unions including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 11:05 AM
Yeah, because Blagojevich is so tied to Obama....

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 11:14 AM
Obama has never ever had a long term close association and always kept a long safe distance from Blago.The Fed's have been investigating this scum bag for a couple years now. Just like his predecessor Ryan, Blago is destined for Federal prison. Not sure what it is with that Illinois Governor position but it sure corrupts.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 11:25 AM

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 11:32 AM
Too bad. Blago once had real political promise. If guilty, they should throw the book at him.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 11:43 AM
Another in a long line of corrupt and stupid politicians

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 11:47 AM
geeze....well, i am from Alabama...

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 12:00 PM
We've had our fair share of political scandals in Alabama. Guy Hunt spent time in jail.....a really stupid charge but off he went. Siegelman had the audacity to run for governor against Riley when Rove was in control and he got railroaded into prison. He's out now and his conviction is part of the ongoing case they're building against Rove and Gonzolez.......it's going to get interesting one of these days around here. Come to think of it, we've had some 'colorful' politicians in Alabama, but none that rose to the level of Alaska, Louisiana or Illinois.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 12:05 PM
quote:
geeze....well, i am from Alabama...


Do you have a banjo on your knee?



BTW, our politicians are clean as a whistle here in New Jersey

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 12:09 PM
Personally, Im glad about all this. The Dems are relieving themselves of Mr. Cold Hard Cash and Blogo. I hope they both get the books tossed at them.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 12:47 PM
quote:
geeze....well, i am from Alabama...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



Do you have a banjo on your knee?



BTW, our politicians are clean as a whistle here in New Jersey



no, it's a guitar..but our Govenor is not in Federal Custody...now the mayor of Birmingham, on the other hand...

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 12:56 PM
quote:
Obama has never ever had a long term close association and always kept a long safe distance from Blago.


Of course he didn't. Just like he never heard Reverend Wright preach hate, was ignorant to the fact Ayers is an unrepentant terrorist and was clueless as to how he got his house so cheap. He's pure as the driven snow.

BarryO's going to have pardons to grant on Inaguration Day at this rate.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 01:01 PM
quote:
BarryO's going to have pardons to grant on Inaguration Day at this rate.


Do you believe that President Bush should commute the sentence of former Illinios Governor George Ryan? He has been petitioned to do so...

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 01:16 PM
quote:
quote:
BarryO's going to have pardons to grant on Inaguration Day at this rate.


Do you believe that President Bush should commute the sentence of former Illinios Governor George Ryan? He has been petitioned to do so...


Nope, I don't.

Is this a 'gotcha' game?

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 01:22 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
BarryO's going to have pardons to grant on Inaguration Day at this rate.


Do you believe that President Bush should commute the sentence of former Illinios Governor George Ryan? He has been petitioned to do so...


Nope, I don't.

Is this a 'gotcha' game?


No, not at all. You do, however, seem to have no problem inferring that Democrats are the only politicians that are accused of or found guilty of wrongdoing.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 01:34 PM
quote:
quote:
Obama has never ever had a long term close association and always kept a long safe distance from Blago.


Of course he didn't. Just like he never heard Reverend Wright preach hate, was ignorant to the fact Ayers is an unrepentant terrorist and was clueless as to how he got his house so cheap. He's pure as the driven snow.

BarryO's going to have pardons to grant on Inaguration Day at this rate.


Compared to most politicians he really is.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 01:41 PM
No problems in New York.






 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 01:45 PM
quote:
Of course he didn't. Just like he never heard Reverend Wright preach hate,


Disowned the man....

quote:
was ignorant to the fact Ayers is an unrepentant terrorist


...which had what to do with their membership on an education board 40 years later?

quote:
and was clueless as to how he got his house so cheap. He's pure as the driven snow.


Debunked a long, long time ago.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a_9sOMpy91Js&re fer=us

Why, if you think you should be taken seriously, do you continue to come up with these half-assed trollish BS comments? I dont think you are stupid, but goddam, I wonder about you sometimes. Unless you can show me specific instances of Obama doing wrong, speculation and guilt by association is pretty lame, even for you.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 02:07 PM
Illinois democrat governor arrested


I am a Republican. What difference does Party affiliation make?


Just ask Dick Nixon

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 02:08 PM
quote:
We've had our fair share of political scandals in Alabama. Guy Hunt spent time in jail.....a really stupid charge but off he went. Siegelman had the audacity to run for governor against Riley when Rove was in control and he got railroaded into prison. He's out now and his conviction is part of the ongoing case they're building against Rove and Gonzolez.......it's going to get interesting one of these days around here. Come to think of it, we've had some 'colorful' politicians in Alabama, but none that rose to the level of Alaska, Louisiana or Illinois.


Our biggest scandals have been in our junior college system. Many legitimate businesses have not been allowed to bid on projects involving our Jr. college system. Software companies, painters, cabinet makers, etc. etc. All was reserved for those making the proper campaign contributions to the good ol' boys. Many legislators are involved via getting themselves and family members on the state payroll (including insurance and retirement) for doing nothing. They're currently seating a jury in Decatur for a retrial of one of these. The lady got a hung jury in the first trial, 11-1 for conviction. I expect my home county to be the site of the next trials.

Curious news story on our front page today. About a lawyer, Stephen Glassroth. Mr Glassroth a leading U.S. criminal defense lawyer, has had his law license suspended.
Seems Mr. Glassroth is the lawyer who filed a complaint against the former chief justice of our supreme court, Roy Moore, for placing a Ten Commandments monument in the state judicial building.

Why did Glassroth have his license suspended? Why, it was due to a complaint from fellow attorney Dana Jill Simpson. Now, who is Ms Simpson? Turns out, she is a self-proclaimed Roy Moore supporter. Worked for him in his campaign for governor.

Now, why would Ms Simpson be doing business with Mr. Glassroth? Does this look like a set-up? Ms Simpson also had a vendetta against Bob Riley for defeating him in the Republican primary. I believe this is the basis of her story about Karl Rove somehow being involved in the Siegleman prosecution. Thus far, her allegations are the only thing supporting this charge. No corroborating evidence whatsoever.

Siegleman has a long history of corruption. Some cases in point include aide Lanny Young using his connections to Siegleman to acquire land in DeKalb County, and then have the county buy it from him at a hefty profit to use for a landfill. Young is now in prison for this, as are County Commissioners. Young testified that he gave campaign contributions to Siegleman to arrange the transactions.

Then there's the Bobo case in Tuscaloosa, where Siegleman had $200,000 of state money sent to a doctor and substantial campaign contributor, which he then used to bribe a competing clinic into withdrawing their bid for the Medicaid prenatal contract with the state.

Very interesting that the revelation re Ms Simpson being involved in Glassroth losing his license, the indictment of the Illinois governor, both coming on the same day that the 11th Circuit is hearing Siegleman's appeal. He was convicted on charges similar to what the Illinois governor is charged with.

I hate corrupt public officials. Despise them. I've watched my state milked dry by them for most of my life. Put them all in jail. Party is completely irrelevent. Looks like Illinois and Alabama have been run like third-world countries by the good ol' boys. Enough is enough.

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 02:29 PM
quote:
quote:
geeze....well, i am from Alabama...


Do you have a banjo on your knee?



BTW, our politicians are clean as a whistle here in New Jersey


 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 03:02 PM
I'm not going to gloat over Blagojevich's arrest and/or almost certain end of his political career. If he's found guilty, I certainly hope he gets what's coming to him. If found not guilty, I'll shrug my shoulders and won't think much about it, unless there's some legitimate questions raised about politics having infiltrated the trial, but I'm not predicting that and don't really anticipate it.

My problem with this story is why the investigation was shut down now. I don't trust Fitzgerald, and the way he's handling this is a prime example of why.

If y'all will recall, Fitzgerald knew in the opening days of his investigation into Plame-gate that Richard Armitage was the leaker. Yet the investigation went on for years. No one, not even Armitage, was ever convicted of the alleged crime of outing an undercover CIA officer. The only conviction was of Scooter Libby on a process crime that boiled down to Libby recalling a conversation with a reporter differently than the reporter remembered it. That's a simplification, but it is the bottom line crux of the conviction. That conviction, even the indictment, took place something like 2 or 3 years after the investigation was launched.

In today's press conference, Fitzgerald described the circumstances as, "We're in the middle of a political corruption crime spree." In the middle? The middle of the Plame investigation was about a year and a half or so, and the culprit of the leak had long-since been positively identified. Why stop now? There are legal wiretaps currently in place that have been producing valuable intel at least as recently as post-election night, because Blagojevich and Harris refer to the "President-elect" many times in the quotes from the wiretaps included in the indictment.

Chuck You Schumer said of Fitzgerald one time, "There isn't a political bone in his body." Yet he spent millions dragging out the investigation of a Republican administration for years after the underlying question had already been answered, and he stops an investigation of political corruption of a gaggle of Democrats? This REEKS of politicization! My bet is that ol' Chuck You will be saying something similar of Fitzgerald in the coming days/weeks. As much as I'll hate it, I'll have to agree with him.

Tom S.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 03:12 PM
I didn't want to be the first one to raise this spectre because if the guy did something wrong, he needs to be arrested......but now that the senate seat is up for grabs and with the right wing trying to prevent the democrats from gaining more senate seats, the timing seems to be interesting tin hat it happened before a democratic replacement could be appointed to fill Obama's senate seat.

Does anyone know who will fill the man's governorship? Can he still appoint the new senator? Does the Lt. Governor take over and if so, who is it? More legal gymnastics to entertain us for a while.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 03:16 PM
quote:
I didn't want to be the first one to raise this spectre because if the guy did something wrong, he needs to be arrested......but now that the senate seat is up for grabs and with the right wing trying to prevent the democrats from gaining more senate seats, the timing seems to be interesting tin hat it happened before a democratic replacement could be appointed to fill Obama's senate seat.

Does anyone know who will fill the man's governorship? Can he still appoint the new senator? Does the Lt. Governor take over and if so, who is it? More legal gymnastics to entertain us for a while.


Should be the Lt. Gov and she is a Dem.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2008 at 03:42 PM
quote:
Why stop now? There are legal wiretaps currently in place that have been producing valuable intel at least as recently as post-election night, because Blagojevich and Harris refer to the "President-elect" many times in the quotes from the wiretaps included in the indictment.


Im going to jump out on a limb here and presume that you are angry at Fitz because there might be some connection to Blogo and Obama? I wouldnt get your hopes up too much on that.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1208/Blago_calls_Obama_motherfer.htm l?showall

 

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