Monday, July 11, 2011

Ex-Rezko Partner Told Federal Investigators Of Payments To Obama

The more I learn about the federal government's investigation of political fixer Tony Rezko and his associates, the more convinced I am that the federal government conspired to keep damaging information about Barack Obama's relationship with Rezko under wraps while penning all the blame on former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was not nearly as close to Rezko as Obama. There's an item in the Sun-Times today about a former Rezko business partner, Daniel Frawley, who was convicted for bank fraud arising out of his failed efforts to open a training security facility for Iraqi security forces in western Illinois, that further bolsters that view. Frawley, who is facing 35 years in prison for his crimes, is getting help from federal prosecutors in urging a lesser sentence for him because he supposedly cooperated in the case against Rezko. Keep in mind that Rezko never testified at either trial of Blagojevich despite the critical role his corrupt activities played in nabbing the former governor.

Frawley is suing his former lawyer, George Weaver, for legal malpractice. He claims Weaver attempted to get him to withhold certain information from government investigators while he was cooperating with them in their investigation of Rezko. Frawley secretly recorded several meetings he had with Rezko at the request of federal investigators. Frawley tells of a meeting with federal authorities where he was calling Rezko on his cell phone to keep a planned luncheon meeting with him when Weaver came running into the room to tell him to cut the phone conversation. In a deposition for his civil lawsuit against Weaver, Frawley says he was instructed by his attorney not to discuss the issue when he was questioned about Weaver trying to prevent him from telling federal authorities about payments he allegedly knew Rezko had made to Obama.

“I was on the phone, making a phone call to Tony Rezko,” Frawley says, according to the transcript. “I had a luncheon engagement with him. George was outside of the room where I was making the telephone call, and the purpose of the call was for me to keep my luncheon engagement with Tony Rezko and to go over and to record Tony Rezko.
“George saw and heard me on the phone, came running in and went like this [demonstrating]: Cut it,” drawing his hand across his throat.
Later in the deposition, Weaver’s lawyer, Daniel F. Konicek, asks Frawley about what specific information Weaver is supposed to have told Frawley to withhold from federal authorities.
“I’m assuming the information is about the payments made by Rezko to Obama, so we know we’re talking about the right conversation, right?” Konicek asks Frawley.
Frawley doesn’t answer. So Konicek presses him: “Am I correct it was about Obama being paid by Rezko?”
Frawley replies: “I’m not answering that question, based upon my attorney’s instructions.”
Nobody directly involved with the deposition — including Frawley and his lawyers, Weaver and his lawyers, and the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office — would comment.
Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Obama’s presidential campaign, called Konicek’s suggestion that Rezko might have made any cash payments to Obama “utter nonsense.”
Besides the Rezko-Obama issue, Konicek also asks Frawley during the deposition, without any explanation, about “the $1.5 million from Rezko.”
One of Frawley’s lawyers objects to the question, and there’s no explanation about what Konicek is talking about.
At Rezko’s trial in 2008, Rezko’s lawyers disclosed in a court filing that federal authorities had accused Rezko of paying a $1.5 million bribe to obtain the security-training contract from the Iraqi government. Rezko’s lawyers then called that allegation completely false. Prosecutors have declined to comment.
So we know federal prosecutors knew Rezko had been accused of paying a $1.5 million bribe to help Frawley obtain the security-training contract, and they knew Rezko had been accused of making payments to Obama. The Iraqi bribe issue was never prosecuted in the government's case against Rezko where he was convicted on multiple criminal charges related to his influence pedding within the administration of Blagojevich. The federal government never pursued the investigation of payments being made to Obama. Rezko helped Obama with the purchase of his southside mansion on which he got a discounted mortgage from Northern Trust Bank, the same bank that received $1.6 billion in federal bailout money and came under criticism for blowing money on lavish parties in L.A. We also know that Rezko hosted a 2004 reception in his Wilmette home for a corrupt Iraqi businessman, Nadhmir Auchi, who wired $3.5 million to Rezko in 2005 at which Barack and Michelle were in attendance. Yes, Barack Obama can thank corrupt federal investigators for covering up his criminal activity with Rezko so he could be elected president while Blagojevich is headed to prison and his corrupt benefactor, Rezko, has been locked up in prison for years following his conviction. Blagojevich frequently complained during his trial that evidence concerning Obama, including recorded conversatons, had been blocked by federal prosecutors and the federal judge in his case.

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