A member of the Chicago Sun Times Family
Governor Rod Blagoyevich leaving home this morning through the back gate into a rear alley. The Governor had shrewdly figured out that reporters would only be waiting in front of his house.
Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
From all descriptions of Rod Blagoyevich's wife, Patti (aka Lady MacBeth), the Illinois First Lady is no meek figure standing quietly in the background while her husband runs the ship of state. Patti has apparently drawn the interest of investigators as well since her husband was elected Governor. A successful real estate salesperson, she apparently had a lot of well-connected clients including none other than Tony Rezko. She is apparently also quite outspoken-at least if you listen to the FBI tapes. On one conversation which the Governor was having with an aide about the Tribune Editorial staff and the sale of the Chicago Cubs, she is heard in the background shouting for all the "bleeping bleepers to be fired-bleep em." Why I even read somewhere that she said, "Bleep the Cubs." (unforgivable, in my view). More seriously, she apparently, according to the complaint, participated with her husband in a lengthy conference call regarding the famous Senate seat up for sale. So the question begs, why wasn't Patricia Blagoyevich indicted as well?
My speculation, based on my experience as a retired federal agent, is that Mrs Blagoyevich is being held as leverage. In other words, her legal predicament depends on her husband cooperating with the Government. If Rod cooperates fully and honestly about Illinois corruption, his wife can be left out of the indictment. If Rod chooses not to cooperate, then Mrs Blagoyevich may be charged as well-if the evidence is sufficient against her. Distasteful? perhaps, but it is legal, and it is done that way on occasion. In other words, in exchange for cooperation, breaks can be given.
But who would Rod give up in return for consideration being given to his wife-and himself? Well, a cardinal rule is that the Government needs to work its way up the ladder of the criminal organization-not down the ladder. To use an analogy, had Hitler been captured alive at the end of World War2, it would have been unconscionable to give him a break to testify against, say, Hermann Goering.
So it must be assumed that if Rod Blagoyevich has any cards to play either to help himself or protect his wife, he would have to give up someone bigger than himself. The problem for him is that there is no one in the Illinois State Government who is bigger than he is. That leaves him one card left, which I will leave to your imagination. Most observers who know anything about Rod Blagoyevich are certain he will try to make a deal for himself.
That takes me to my next point. Anything and everything that Rod Blagoyevich says to investigators and prosecutors will have to be completely corroborated. If Blag winds up being a Government witness, no jury will believe a word he says, nor should they. In fact, the presiding judge would instruct the jurors to be sceptical of his testimony and accept it only when accompanied by corroborating, independent evidence.
Settle in, folks. It's going to be a long ride.