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BLAH BLAGO GO BLA-BLA — No Comments

  1. Dear Sir,

    I just wanted to know your opinion on why Rod Blagojevich and mayor Daley hold such strong [bordering on irrational] anti-gun positions?

  2. Seriously? I think he was convicted of a pretty bogus “crime” – for lying to FBI agents investigating his fund raising. Under questioning, Blago said that he maintained “a firewall between politics and government” and that he “does not track, or want to know, who contributes to him or how much they are contributing to him.”

    As the Wall Street Journal (no fans of his) said this a.m., “If such a stock denial is a crime, we can think of several hundred politicians who could also be convicted.”

    (Note: just don’t talk to the federales without your lawyer in the room. Remember Martha Stewart, folks . . . .)

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703649004575437490986410482.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

    As someone who’s been a prosecutor and a defense lawyer – as well as a juror – I suspect the Government really choked. As a prosecutor, you have a duty to do justice . . . which means that you don’t bring a case that you’re not pretty damned sure you’re going to win. If Blago really is guilty, than USA Fitzgerald is incompetent. If Blago is innocent (. . . waits for laughter to die down . . . ), then Fitzgerald’s attachment to doing justice needs to be re-examined by the big O who appointed him.

    But, yeah, I’d say this was a victory for Blago. Probably not for the Ds, though – I suspect that most people expected this ridiculously expensive trial of an allegedly corrupt D politician by the Dem US attorney (appointed to the office by a D president with strong ties to the allegedly corrupt D politician) to garner better results.

    cheers, erich

  3. As the old saying goes, a DA could indict a ham sandwich. If there is justice in the world, the prosecutor, Mr. Fitzgerald, sure doesn’t get my vote for pure and honest man of the year. I would take Blago over him in a heartbeat.

    Remember that Fitz was the guy that has a long list of political prosecutions. The whole Valerie Plame affair, prosecuting Scooter Libby AFTER knowing that deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage provided Plame’s name to Bob Novak. That is criminal behavior in my eyes. But Fitzgerald walks. Oh and how about Fitz covering up the Al Qaeda connection to the first WTC bombing? Gee only 3,000 people had to die for that little peccadillo. Then him trying to quash the publication of Peter Lance’s book “Triple Cross” which details his shenanigans. All this is ok because he has the title and power of office. Despicable.

  4. My take is that a hung jury does not an acquittal make. It’s still open season on Blago with no bag limit. I hear the prosecution will try again, and I bet this time the 12 WILL be unanimous.

    However, I still think that the jury functioned properly this time. Just b/c 1 scumbag walked free from it doesn’t mean that purely innocent men haven’t free due to one stubborn man who remained unconvinced by a prosecutor’s over-zealous attempt to convict him. See “Twelve Angry Men.”

  5. As I told my wife, the defense only has to buy off/intimidate one juror to get what they want.

  6. Ah, my former home state.

    It seems to me this one holdout juror may end up enduring a good bit more scrutiny in the coming weeks. That the other jurors asked for a copy of the oath they took at the start of the trial, undoubtedly to show and read to her, kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

  7. Lesson here: if questioned by any officer – especially a fed – shut up; remember that “you have the right to remain silent” really means you almost always are better off doing that.
    Blagojevich now is a convicted felon looking at five years without parole only because he didn’t shut up.
    You’re VERY unlikely to talk your way out of trouble – but VERY likely to talk your way into it!

  8. The fact remains that on the most egregious element of Blagojevich’s alleged betrayal of the public trust, the brokering of the Senate seat, eleven of twelve on the jury of his peers were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty.

    If I was on a jury, I would listen to the evidence and make a decision solely based on that, but since I’m not on a jury, I can make a decision based on what an obvious slimeball Blago is. I was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the guy was guilty from the minute I read the transcript of the recording.

    Popehat has a good analysis of the one charge that did stick, “lying to the FBI.” The URL is here but the up-shot is this:

    Quote:

    [Blagojevich’s] assertions were, of course, bullshit. More to the point, they were utterly obvious bullshit. There is no chance whatsoever that Blagojevich’s patently ludicrous and self-serving boasts about his rectitude could have delayed or deterred the FBI for a nanosecond. Regrettably, when it comes to Section 1001, that’s not the point. The question, in determining whether a lie to a government investigator violated section 1001 is not whether it actually obstructed or influenced the investigation, but whether it was possible that a statement of that kind would influence the investigation. That’s such a loose and easy standard that almost any statement related to the subject matter of an investigation will satisfy the element.

    Hence federal investigators frequently use 1001 to strengthen otherwise weak cases. They carefully build their proof about all the issues in the case, convince some credulous target and his foolhardy lawyer to talk, and then hope that the target will lie about some detail — or at least make some claim that a jury will believe is untrue. As I’ve mentioned before, the feds can even use this trick to convert a misdemeanor investigation into a felony investigation, and can certainly transform a losing case into a conviction. Just ask Martha Stewart (who was never indicted on the issues for which she was investigated). Or Rod Blagojevich, who now stands convicted for stupid lies that the FBI didn’t believe for a hot second.

    Popehat’s advice is the same as that of every defense attorney I have ever heard: when the cops or the feds come to talk to you, shut up and get a lawyer. Whenever I heard that advice, I think of the advice that Mas gave in LFI-1, when he said that simply clamming up and saying, “I want a lawyer,” makes you look bad to the cops. Mas said that it was important to frame the shooting as a self-defense situation right from the beginning, so there were certain types of statements he recommended making to witnesses before cops arrived and to cops after they arrive and after your (likely inevitable) arrest. Even then, Mas’s advice was to say very little. I guess that speaks to the difference between a situation like a self-defense shooting and a federal or police investigation. In the latter case, there is no urgent need to frame anything, and the likelihood is that you are going to hurt your case.

  9. I think she was bought and paid for. I think that she was told to go ahead and help find him guilty of one of the lesser charges, which she did. That would help mitigate suspicion that the jury was tampered with. I’m sure the authorities are going to be taking a very close look at her recent past, present and future finances. Still, cash is pretty easy to hide and eventually, they’ll stop watching her.

  10. It is fairly obvious (to us anyway) that he is guilty. However, there is a high enough percentage of Americans who are extreme liberals/progressives that there is bound to be at least one on any given jury. These people have bought into the progressive line so much that they aren’t capable of believing anything bad about one of their own. We see this also in the global warming fanatics who won’t listen to the evidence that they were cooking the books and much of the “proof” of global warming was made up out of whole cloth. Much of the anti-gun crowd is the same. I am not surprised in the least.

    BTW, I have seen this happen with conservative republicans also. Sadly, it is human nature.

    s

  11. Maybe i’m just too cynical, but my take on it is that the lone juror was bought off. I’ve been on a couple of juries. And in both situations, nobody wanted to be a lone disenting voice to hang a jury. If this one juror had some REALLY strong conviction in the matter, fair enough. but I can’t think of what that could be.

    BTW, I had a great time attending your class summer of 2009 at FAS. I was the one with the “Double-D” bifocals.

  12. Mas,
    Although I do not believe “Lying to a Federal Officer” Should be a crime, for obvious reasons, but at this time it is the law of the land.
    The Prosecuters should definately refile on the mistrial items as it may lead to future convictions and/or Blago spilling his guts.
    I would love to be a “fly on the wall” during the many meetings these corrupt Chicago politicians and their corrupt State Governer had on this issue and many other issues as well.
    Paul in Texas

  13. Personally, the jury should’ve pulled jury nullification on the “lying to the FBI” charge. You can’t find a man guilty (even an obvious d-bag) for a crime for which the law against it is unlawful (fraud is illegal. a plain, old, damnable lie is not…. leave that to be between God and the man).

    Still, the system worked the way it was supposed to. I wouldn’t want to change the system and its protections even if it means that at times men like Blago get away with official d-baggery.

  14. Mr. Ayoob,

    Can you PLEASE explain, in comment or in email (joshuae@gmail.com), why it is okay for the FBI to lie to a suspect, but it is a FELONY for the suspect to lie to the FBI?
    This is a matter of logic that I have, as of yet, been unable to understand.

  15. “My take is that a hung jury does not an acquittal make. It’s still open season on Blago with no bag limit. I hear the prosecution will try again, and I bet this time the 12 WILL be unanimous.”

    Don’t bet on that!
    Federal prosecutors tried prosecuting Gotti Junior FOUR times due to hung juries – and eventually gave up on it after never convicting him of anything.

  16. No big surprise here. The Federal deep pockets can keep prosecuting until they have a conviction, but he’s probably got a good double-jeopardy appeal coming.

    Anything he gets is fine with me. He and any others who have denied their citizens the most fundamental right will not get any sympathy from this corner.

  17. In a previous “life”, in another state, I served on two juries. In one the defendant was guilty of the crime charged but I held out because the crime was, in my opinion, a non-crime, much like lying to a federal investigator. I eventually succeeded in performing jury nullification and I am proud of it to this day, some 35 years later. Why did I consider it a non-crime? For the same reason I believe in the right to keep and bear arms and the right of self defense. A man facing the whole array of federal power should be, is, entitled to do what it takes! Not, I hasten to add, including using violence.

    On another occasion, same state, a man was on trial for a very minor, technical firearms violation. I stood near the courthouse entrance and passed out sheets explaining jury nullification as prospective jurors entered. No LEO, federal or state, attempted to stop me. Verdict – not guilty.

    I don’t expect much agreement, if any, with what I did but I’d do it again. And again.

    As for Blag, I hope he gets nailed to the barn wall.

  18. The result was very “O.J.-esque”. The concept of Blagojevich’s (nearly complete) innocence is barely conceivable. It may be that the now released jury is missing one very well compensated or very well intimidated or mentally incompetent lady jurist.

  19. Rod Blagojevich and all his ilk need to GO yesterday! If we continue to roll over and do nothing on these issues, we deserve the loser officials we get. I’m sick and tired of people being laissez faire on corruption in politics. Morality DOES matter! Have an opinion already, and have one that is logical and good for the culture we live in! Don’t be afraid to be a voice for the majority of good Americans.

  20. “eleven of twelve on the jury of his peers”

    Are you kidding me? They were not his peers; his peers don’t get jury duty.

  21. Same basic result as the former Mayor Bill Cambell trial here in Atlanta. Only found guilty on one or a few of the charges. However, because he was found guilty the Judge is allowed to take the other charges into account during sentencing. Judge threw the book at him. I suspect the same will happen here unless the Judge is a crony.

  22. My personal opinion , (based solely on what I have read and heard from news media) , is Blogojevich is guilty.
    As for the FBI charging him with lying to federal investigators, that charge is over used. The FBI charges everyone they prosecute with lying to them. They are so blatant with this charge that simply deigning guilt is chargeable as a violation of this federal code. Martha Stewart was not convicted of “Insider Trading but was convicted of lying to the FBI and imprisoned. Never talk to a Federal Investigator without the presents of an attorney.

  23. I think that if I were the prosecutor, I’d be reviewing the “hold-out juror’s” bank accounts for large, unexplained deposits of cash.

  24. “After serving jury duty, it was apparent to me that most jurors are NOT our peers.”

    Which you ought to thank God for!
    If you were being tried in Cook County, Illinois (Chicago metro area), would you want a RANDOM selection of the local population – as in overwhelmingly either black slum, illegal-alien barrio, or lefty suburban whites – deciding your fate?

  25. I think Blagojevich is guilty of everything he’s being charged with and more. As for the one juror holding out, I’d say there are two possibilities:

    1. She’s being paid off.

    2. She’s just a diehard democrat who is trying to help poor Blagojevich.

    While I do believe we have a good justice system, it’s not completely infallible. To me it’s not hard to imagine the possibility of jury tampering. Either intimidation or most likely in this case, bribery. Blagojevich through a third party, “gifts” a hefty sum to a sole juror. And since it was a third party Blagojevich can claim he wasn’t involved.

    Not possible? In the Mark Branham case something fishy was going on. Conveniently the family of the deceased attacker seemed to have deep pockets as well…

  26. The outcome was easy to predict. Blago had a year and a half to poison the jury pool. The judge should have issued a gag order. The jurors were from Cook County and it is a bastion of Demons (Democrats). They would never convict another Democrat of anything except murder and then the departed would have to be exhibited before the jury.
    As for Blago and his anti-gun stance I have a tidbit. When Blago was in the State Assembly he introduced a bill that would raise the fee for an FOID card to $100 per 5 years. The bill went no where. When he ran for Gov. he had to swear that as Gov. he would never sign such a bill or ever raise the fee.( he needed the votes). Later the State Police were crying that the $5 fee to process FOID Cards had to be raised to cover costs, but Blago new that his promise to not raise the FOID fee would come back to haunt him. So they compromised and came up with a new $10 fee but the FOID card would be good for 10 years instead of 5. Of course with the NICS background check the whole idea of the FOID card is worthless.
    If memory serves me right the 5th Congressional District was filled by deceased Dan Rostenkowski D, imprisoned, then a backlash from the voters put a (R) in the office Michael Patrick Flanagan 1 term, then (D) Blago, then (D)Rahm Emanuel, off to Washington, and now a flunky to keep the seat warm until the power brokers can decide who to crown.
    Ah yes! Chicago politics at its best!
    Randy

  27. For an Illinois politician, Blago is not bad. Chicago and Cook County politics has been a syphilitic chancre on the body politic for decades, and no one has yet found a cure.

    Now it’s spread to the Oval Office.

    One of the occasional interesting symptoms of tertiary syphilis is megalomania. I’m afraid this metaphor is a bit too apt.

  28. Free Blago!!! So he told some lies, probably fewer and much less serious ones than our Dear Leader and his other cronies have told the American people repeatedly. Money talks and so does threats, tactics which the Chicago gang have used successfully against jury members and others who pose a danger to their nefarious activities. During the HillBilly administration, one of the women who accused the male president of rape had her cat brutally killed by an unknown person(s) and she may be next, so she got the message not to cause any more trouble. For Blago to be properly judged by his peers, won’t he need a jury consisting of 12 corrupt, Democratic former governors?

    For Josh:

    According to the law, it’s OK for the ‘Good Guys’ to lie to the ‘Bad Guys’ but not the other way around. Understand now?

  29. Look it’s as simple as this “them and us”

    We answer to laws and regulations that apparently THEY don’t need to adhere to. There are only 3 classes of people in this country politicians, sheeple and those of us that will go down fighting.

  30. And Blagojevich now openly is talking of a “political comeback!”
    To WHAT? Mayor of his cellblock?

  31. I agree with .45stayalive. Something smells wrong with regards to one of the jurors reasoning. The fact that the jurors themselves asked for a copy of their oath shows that they may have been trying to convince the last juror that her decision was wrong. The spoiler will have to live with her decision.