Former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Brother, Aides Indicted

As expected, Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been indicted. His brother and top aides were also indicted. You can read the Indictment here (pdf). More details here.

In addition to Rob Blagojevich, 53, and fundraiser Christopher Kelly, 50, charged were Lon Monk, 50, a lobbyist and former Blagojevich chief of staff; John Harris, 47, also a former chief of staff to Blagojevich; and William Cellini, 74, a Springfield insider for decades.

DOJ press release is here. The charges: Racketeering conspiracy, Wire fraud, Fraud conspiracy, Extortion conspiracy, Attempted extortion, False statements Forfeiture.

Why is it a Superseding Indictment? When was the first one returned and why did they have to go back to the grand jury for a second one? [Update below]

Update 4/3/09: In checking the PACER docket, the Government superseded the indictment originally returned in co-defendant William Cellini's case to add the new defendants, including Blagojevich, and the new charges. It also renumbered the order of the defendants.

Cellini was originally indicted in October, 2008 in case No. 08-cr-0888. Blago's case in which the complaint was filed was 08-cr-1010. Yesterday, the Government moved to dismiss 08-cr-1010 and then it added Blagojevich and the others to 08-cr-0888, putting Blago first.

After the return of the Superseding Indictment, the Court ordered:

Bond set in 08 CR 1010 to stand as bond in this instance as to Rod Blagojevich and John Harris. Bond to be determined at time of arraignment as to Christopher Kelly, Alonzo Monk and Robert T. Blagojevich. Bond previously set in 08 CR 888 to stand as to William Cellini, Sr.
The Court also granted the Governments ex parte motion to:
reorder defendants and counts in the indictment as to Rod Blagojevich, Christopher Kelly, Alonzo Monk, William F. Cellini, Sr., John Harris and Robert Blagojevich.
The Government also moved to freeze the defendants' assets:
EX PARTE application by USA for a restraining order preserving property subject to forfeiture as to Rod Blagojevich, Christopher Kelly, Alonzo Monk, William F Cellini, Sr., John Harris, Robert Blagojevich
I assume the court granted the motion, since there's an order entered, but it's "restricted" so we can't read it.
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    None of the people who he was dealing with (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by joanneleon on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:03:14 PM EST
    did anything wrong?  It's interesting that only Blago and people from his office were indicted.

    I know this guy did a lot of things, but it's hard to watch Bush, Cheney and their minions walk around free while Blago gets indicted with all of these charges, especially when so many people have said that these types of things are done all the time in politics -- particularly in Chicago.

    Could the second round of indictments have anything to do with his speech during his impeachment trial?

    I wonder (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:04:17 PM EST
    who else they're going to take down with them. How many of them will cut deals? I guess we'll see.

    Media says he's at DisneyLand! (none / 0) (#2)
    by abdiel on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:31:11 PM EST
    He is fearless.

    Hope from Ted Stevens, maybe?

    The media and Blagojevich gone wild (none / 0) (#4)
    by joze46 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:17:53 PM EST
    Whats happening is not just about Blagojevich, from my view Patrick Fitzgerald is the one and only last chance for the Republicans to connect Obama to any real corruption. Even if Fitzgerald has to resort to lame perjury charges that have nothing to do with this indictment, Fitzgerald will try to make a connection.  

    But, a very interesting judicial move by Attorney General Holder to drop charges on Senator Sevens is perhaps an elegant professionalism now core to the whole department. More over, perhaps Attorney General Holder is sending signal to the whole team as to who is in charge. However, after the Grandstanding, Fitzgerald has no recourse but to move forward with as much as he can to push every button. Likely his future is in jeopardy if he makes a single shifty plea bargain or deals that involves concealing evidence. As suggested there is already some secret sealed stuff out there. O.K. What the heck is sealed indictment?

    I am not a lawyer, but after reading the link, it looks like normal politics with ginned up allegations. My view political persons have been looking for jobs for their wives all the time. For heavens sakes their wives, cousins, uncle, bothers, and sisters, Sheesh, every friend and any body that is for your political goals is in the game. Who is kidding who even Fitzgerald is where he is because from friends and associate political connections got him where he is. Please at this point in the game it is who you know that counts...  

    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:27:07 PM EST
    but Fitzgerald is no Ken Starr. He put Scooter Libby in jail for pete's sake and trying to attack him is something that won't work.

    "superseding" indictment? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:39:56 PM EST
    I think they mean it supersedes the complaint filed in the fall, that's all.  I don't think it was intended to suggest any prior indictment, although I agree the term is generally used in the way you suggest, TL.  If there was any prior indictment, even if filed under seal and never unsealed, for example, it would show on the N.D.Ill. docket.  Does it?

    that's incorrect (none / 0) (#12)
    by Bemused on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:59:14 AM EST
      Many cases begin with a criminal complaint which is simply a charging document to bring a person before jurisdiction of  the court and allow for detention or the posting of bond. A prosecution and conviction cannot be based upon a criminal complaint. In fact, a complaint only allows for 30 days personal jurisdiction (and thus detention or requirement of bond) unless the defendant agrees to waive that.

      A federal criminal conviction can only be based upon a grand jury indictment or an information if the defendant waives his fifth amendment constitutional right.

      So an indictment does not supersede a complaint. A uperseding indictment only supersedes a prior indictment. Tere are several reason why one might be sought:

    --- add additional counts
    --- add additional defendants
    --- correct a statutory reference or trackng language or other "technical" error
    --- add or subtract alleged facts
    -- any possible combination of the above.

      The original indictment should be unsealed shortlyu if it has not already and a comparison of the original and superseding should explain why a superseding indictment was sought tso early in the game.


    a quick look at PACER answers (none / 0) (#13)
    by Bemused on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 07:11:26 AM EST
     the superseding indictment superseds the indictment originally returned against Cellini in case # 1:08-cr-00888, to add the new defendants and new charges.

    Cellini was indicted 10/30/08 on 4 counts.

    INDICTMENT as to William F Cellini, Sr (1) count(s) 1, 2-3, 4 (yap, ) (Entered: 10/31/2008)

    The superseding indictment has 19 counts total and 7 defendants:

    SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT as to Rod Blagojevich (1) count(s) 1, 2-12, 13, 16-18, 19, Christopher Kelly (2) count(s) 1, 14-15, Alonzo Monk (3) count(s) 11, William F Cellini, Sr (4) count(s) 13s, 14s-15s, John Harris (5), counts (s) 4, Robert Blagojevich (6) count(s) 3, 12, with Forfeiture Allegations One & Two (meg, ) (Entered: 04/02/2009)



    can't count (none / 0) (#14)
    by Bemused on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 07:13:00 AM EST
    6 deferndants

    Democratic Governors (none / 0) (#7)
    by eric on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:24:10 PM EST
    Blagojevich, Spitzer, Siegelman.  What do they all have in common?

    Republican prosecutors.

    To be honest (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 05:43:58 AM EST
    though Seigelman is the only one that got a raw deal. Spitzer was just downright stupid and Blago is corrupt.

    Well (none / 0) (#8)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:26:23 PM EST
    Every federal case has had a Republican prosecutor for the last eight years...

    Exactly (none / 0) (#10)
    by eric on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:50:57 PM EST
    and how many governors were indicted or implicated in wrongdoing by prosecutors in the previous 8 years?

    So sometimes even Repub lawyers (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 10:10:37 AM EST
    prosecute according to the law?

    I hope you are not saying that Dem-appointed prosecutors would have looked the other way at corruption.  So what are you saying?