Rezko Witness: Rezko Said Fitzgerald Would Be Replaced

A former associate of Tony Rezko's testified at his trial today that Rezko told him U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald would be replaced and the investigation into his conduct would end.

Elie Maloof just testified that when he received a grand jury subpoena, Rezko told him not to talk to the feds. Why? "The federal prosecutor will no longer be the same federal prosecutor," Maloof just testified that Rezko told him. What did Rezko mean prosecutor Chris Niewoehner asked? "That Patrick Fitzgerald would be terminated and Dennis Hastert will name his replacement. The investigation will be over."

Maloof, who once helped run some of Rezko's fast-food businesses, said Rezko told him of Fitzgerald's replacement: "That they will order the prosecutor to stop the investigation."
It is the first time jurors heard an accusation that Rezko worked behind the scenes to oust Fitzgerald.

The Sun Times also reports that the Judge and lawyers have been working hard to keep Barack Obama's name from surfacing in the trial.

Maloof left the stand without ever invoking Barack Obama's name, despite previous allegations by prosecutors that he made a straw donation for Rezko to Obama's Senatorial campaign fund. It is clear that lawyers -- and the judge -- have been careful not to bring Obama's name into case, even outside the presence of the jury.

Maloof is testifying under a grant of immunity. More on that here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    i love this story (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Turkana on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:06:39 PM EST
    the one political scandal that may come out of the rezko trial doesn't lead to obama, it leads to karl rove!

    Not if Bush ends up pardoning him. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by pie on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:08:46 PM EST

    Boy Rezko (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:29:02 PM EST
    believed his own myth about being connected.

    Oy. (none / 0) (#2)
    by pie on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:08:04 PM EST
    OTOH, the blame falls on Rezko, not Obama.  Politics makes strange bedfellows.

    Yes, I'm being generous.

    Is Hastert Still Gonna Name A Replacement...lol (none / 0) (#5)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:12:41 PM EST

    I can't wait for Fitz to start having (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:13:28 PM EST
    emails from DoJ's internal servers introduced into evidence, showing people at DoJ getting copied on the "Re:  Get Fitz" project.


    Ha! (none / 0) (#14)
    by litigatormom on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 07:11:22 PM EST
    Someone who hates Fitz more than Scooter Libby?  Who'd have thunk it?

    Obama is Not Alleged to Have (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:15:37 PM EST
    been involved in any improprieties regarding Rezko.

    I just deleted a comment that implied otherwise.

    Stick to the facts please. This is not a site to throw around unfounded speculation about criminal conduct.

    Unfortunately, (none / 0) (#8)
    by pie on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:22:33 PM EST
    Obama has been linked indelibly to Rezko.

    (Watching Wright and commentary on NewsHour right now.)


    The consensus on NewsHour was (none / 0) (#10)
    by pie on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:40:42 PM EST
    that if Obama can't connect with the white voters in Indiana, then he's unelectable.
    Two of the three-man panel were black.

    But not for involvement (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 06:07:14 PM EST
    in the alleged crimes for which Rezko is on trial. Rezko and Obama are tied by their land deal which is not the subject of the trial or this post and which also did not involve criminal conduct.

    The only link between this trial and Obama is that Rezko directed some of his cohorts to contribute to Obama's senate cammpaign from the allegedly illegal finders' fees Rezko and these cohorts collected. There is no allegation by the Government that Obama had any reason to suspect these contributions may have been made with tainted funds. Obama returned the contributions.


    I completely agree (none / 0) (#13)
    by pie on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 06:43:14 PM EST
    that Obama is not involved in that way.

    But he is involved.


    According To Emptywheel (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:51:58 PM EST
    The suggestion that Bob Kjellander was working with Rove to have Fitz fired is not new.

    In a hearing before court began, prosecutors said they hoped to call Ali Ata, the former Blagojevich administration official who pleaded guilty to corruption yesterday, to the stand.

    Assistant U.S. Atty. Carrie Hamilton said she believed Ata would testify to conversations Ata had with his political patron, Rezko, about working to pull strings to kill the criminal investigation into Rezko and others when it was in its early stages in 2004.

    "[Ata] had conversations with Mr. Rezko about the fact that Mr. Kjellander was working with Karl Rove to have Mr. Fitzgerald removed," Hamilton told U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve.