Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blagojemess: a wider, deeper investigation?

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald

In asking a court to give him a 90-day extension of time to present an indictment of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Blago's now ex-chief of staff, John Harris, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald revealed some details that may point to a much wider and deeper probe of corruption in Illinois politics.

We learned from Fitzgerald's filing that the "investigation was initiated in approximately 2003, and involves multiple potential defendants."

We also learned that the investigation involved a non-specified number of court-approved telephone intercepts and that through only "the most recent set of...intercepts" some "thousands of phone calls were intercepted between late-October 2008 and early-December 2008." The document is silent on how many phone calls may have been tapped going back to "approximately 2003."

And not surprisingly, we learned that "multiple witnesses have come forward in recent weeks to discuss their knowledge of criminal activity in relation to the ongoing investigation."

Based on what we know about past Illinois politics, (including the fact that Blago's immediate predecessor as Governor is now in a federal pen), "Fitzmas" may come to Chicago and Springfield around late March, and everyone who's been naughty had better watch out.

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