Sunday, January 25, 2009
And on the fifth day, subpoenas were served related to Obama's senior staff
On Saturday morning, the list of subpoenas served by the U.S. Attorney's office in the Governor Rod Blagojevich case was made public. The list included one major surprise for the new administration.
A veritable "who's who" of Obama staffers, surrogates and affiliates were among those whose communications with Blago were served with subpoenas. Put simply, within one week of President Barack Obama's administration taking office, it is already under significant legal scrutiny that will -- at a minimum -- take precious time away from dealing with the country's monumental economic and foreign policy challenges.
And, once again, the mainstream media is AWOL, unwilling to report on this very newsworthy story.
Among those whose communications were served:
David Axelrod, Obama's "Karl Rove" and the biggest surprise on the list. Obama's team issued a report in December that said his staff had no "inappropriate contact" with Blago, so the inclusion of Axelrod is a bit of a shock.
Valerie Jarrett, Blago's "Senate Candidate 1", a real estate management executive and political hack of the first order. Her ties to failed and fraudulent real estate deals in Chicago were the subject of numerous investigations and should have instantly disqualified her for any public office.
Rahm Emanuel was already deeply involved in the case with some reports describing as many as 21 conversations with Blago's office during the period in question.
Tony Rezko, Obama's first advocate, fundraiser and adviser, was convicted last year on numerous charges related to kickbacks, and is now awaiting sentencing. Rezko is "cooperating with authorities, FBI Agent Daniel Cain said in an affidavit."
Other communications served include:
• Patricia Blagojevich, first lady
• River Realty, her former employer
• Friends of Blagojevich, the governor's campaign committee
• Citizens for Blagojevich, his former committee
• Robert Blagojevich, the governor's brother and campaign chairman
• Christopher Kelly, former adviser and fundraiser for governor
• Alonzo Monk, former Blagojevich chief of staff, now a lobbyist
• Milan Petrovic, lobbyist and campaign fundraiser
• John Wyma, former Blagojevich adviser, now a lobbyist
• Paul Rosenfeld, lobbyist
• J.B. Pritzker, wealthy Chicagoan whom Blagojevich might have considered to replace Obama in U.S. Senate
• Gery Chico, former Chicago school board president and one-time U.S. Senate candidate
• Doug Scofield, former Blagojevich adviser, now a consultant
• Scofield Communications
• Service Employees International Union
• Tom Balanoff, SEIU Illinois president
• Change to Win, an SEIU-affiliated activist group
• Sam Zell, owner of the Chicago Tribune
• Nils Larsen, an adviser to Zell
• The Chicago Tribune
• The Tribune Co., the newspaper's parent company
• Michael Vondra, owner of asphalt and construction companies
• Gerald Krozel, vice president of a concrete company
• John Johnston, president of Balmoral Park racetrack
• Fred Yang, Washington, D.C.-based Blagojevich consultant
• Garin Hart Yang Research Group, Yang's firm
• William Knapp, Washington, D.C.-based Blagojevich consultant
• Squire, Knapp & Dunn, Knapp's firm
• Doug Sosnick, political consultant
Blago's "Senate Candidate 3", Jan Schakowsky, was not served with a subpoena, but will have some questions of her own to answer in the days to come.
Let's recap, shall we? In the first week, Obama has not cut taxes -- the only proven way to revive the economy -- despite promising to do so for "95% of working Americans" (which was almost certainly a lie, but let's wait and see); signed an order to close Gitmo, certain to make America less safe; and promoted abortion on a global scale.
Oh, and most of his senior staff is under legal scrutiny.
I can hardly wait for week two.
Update: Thomas Lifson offers the critical thought experiment: imagine if Rove, and not Axelrod, had been the subject.
Update II: An eagle-eyed commenter points out that Blago's communications with Axelrod, Jarrett, et. al. were the subject of subpoenas, not the parties themselves. So noted and corrected.
Hat tips: Don Surber (for the title as well as the story) and Larwyn. Linked by: Thomas Lifson at the invaluable American Thinker, The Anchoress, SondraK, Protein Wisdom, Moonbattery, Hyscience, Atlas, Patriot Room, Dr. Sanity, Repurblican, Obambi, Urban Grounds, Black and Right, Proof Positive, Tory Dr. Roy, Crusader Rabbit, Amused Cynic, Liberal Rapture, River Daughter, The Real Barack Obama, CannonFire, DequalsS, Bill Baar's West Side and The Astute Bloggers. Thanks!