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Special Reports Last Updated: May 4th, 2010 - 00:48:14

Bush�s lame duck eavesdropping on Obama and Emanuel
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

May 4, 2010, 00:19

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(WMR) -- Federal national security sources have revealed to WMR that the FBI electronic surveillance that resulted in the impeachment, expulsion as governor of Illinois, and indictment of Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges was originally directed by the outgoing George W. Bush administration against presidential candidate and subsequent President-elect Barack Obama and his prospective chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Although the Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald, and his team of prosecutors captured �thousands of phone calls� in their investigation of Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, they chose to only concentrate on those intercepted phone calls that were used to indict Blagojevich and Harris. In fact, WMR has learned that when Obama and Emanuel became aware that their phone calls were intercepted by the FBI, they moved fast to have Fitzgerald arrest Blagojevich in the early morning of December 9, 2009. The White House transition team wanted to ensure that it was Blagojevich who was at the center of the FBI wiretaps. Bush and his team, according to WMR�s sources sought to obtain information on Obama and Emanuel that could be used to �blackmail them� in order to ensure that there would be no investigations of the Bush administration�s complicity in torture, political prosecutions throughout the United States of Democrats, and other illegal activities.

Fitzgerald maintains that the thousands of intercepted calls were made between October 22, 2008, a few weeks prior to Obama�s election victory, and December 9, 2008, the day Blagojevich was arrested without an indictment. After Blagojevich�s arrest by U.S. marshals, Fitzgerald took the unusual step of holding a news conference, rife with theatrics, in which he railed that Blagojevich�s conduct would make �Lincoln roll over in his grave.� Criticisms from legal experts that Fitzgerald was engaged in pre-trial grandstanding to influence public opinion were dismissed by Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald�s move came after Emanuel made direct contact with Fitzgerald, ostensibly to inform him that Blagojevich was attempting to �sell� Obama�s Senate seat.

WMR has been told that Emanuel was aware of the damaging nature of the �thousands� of FBI intercepted phone calls to him and Obama and wanted to divert Fitzgerald and the FBI away from himself and the president-elect to Blagojevich and Harris. Fitzgerald, known as the man who covered up key elements of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and saw to it that the legal ground was laid for a commutation of the prison sentence of Dick Cheney�s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, in the Bush administration�s cover-up of the outing by the media of CIA non-official cover agent Valerie Plame Wilson, decided to seek authorization for the early morning arrest of Blagojevich to protect Obama and Emanuel, as well as Bush.

Fitzgerald lived up to his part of the bargain with Emanuel by interviewing Obama, Emanuel, and Jarrett in mid-December 2008 and then green lighting Obama�s selectee as White House chief counsel, Greg Craig, to issue a report stating that there was �no inappropriate contact� between Obama, Emanuel, or Jarret with Blagojevich. Emanuel quickly left the United States for a vacation in Africa. Fitzgerald cautioned Obama, Emanuel, Jarrett, adviser David Axelrod, Craig, and transition team spokesman Robert Gibbs to remain silent and not disclose anything to the press. The diversion of attention by the public and the media to Blagojevich and Harris was successful.

On July 29, 2009, WMR reported: �If the Fitzgerald prosecution of Blagojevich is any indication, some GOP U.S. attorneys may have decided to trade knowledge and influence in return for keeping their jobs. In Fitzgerald�s case, it was possibly information he had on convicted Chicago political kingpin Antoin �Tony� Rezko�s links to Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, that made Blagojevich a useful �sacrificial lamb� to send a message to the Obama camp. In any event, Fitzgerald�s plan worked -- he remains secure as Obama�s U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois.�

In his April 22 motion, Blagojevich�s defense team states: �Tony Rezko is one of the government�s main witnesses. Mr. Rezko�s credibility is extremely relevant in this trial. In many instances, Mr. Rezko is the government�s crucial witness to prove up their allegations. Mr. Rezko wrote a letter to a federal judge stating �the prosecutors have been overzealous in pursuing a crime that never happened. They are pressuring me to tell them the �wrong� things that I supposedly know about Governor Blagojevich and Senator Obama. I have never been a party to any wrongdoing that involved the Governor or the Senator. I will never fabricate lies about anyone else for selfish purposes.� (Exhibit A) 

However, the defense has a good faith belief that Mr. Rezko, President Obama�s former friend, fund-raiser, and neighbor told the FBI and the United States attorneys a different story about President Obama. In a recent in camera proceeding, the government tendered a three-paragraph letter indicating that Rezko �has stated in interviews with the government that he engaged in election law violations by personally contributing a large sum of cash to the campaign of a public official who is not Rod Blagojevich. . . . Further, the public official denies being aware of cash contributions to his campaign by Rezko or others and denies having conversations with Rezko related to cash contributions. . . . Rezko has also stated in interviews with the government that he believed he transmitted a quid pro quo offer from a lobbyist to the public official, whereby the lobbyist would hold a fundraiser for the official in exchange for favorable official action, but that the public official rejected the offer. The public official denies any such conversation. In addition, Rezko has stated to the government that he and the public official had certain conversations about gaming legislation and administration, which the public official denies having had.�

The reason behind U.S. Judge James Zagel�s order that many of the documents related to the Blagojevich indictment remain redacted is that the documents show the extensive nature of the FBI�s surveillance of many of those connected to the Obama campaign, including Obama, Emanuel, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, and others.

On April 22, 2010, the Blagojevich defense team, in their motion to Zagel, a Ronald Reagan appointee, to call Obama as a witness in the Blagojevich trial, wrote: �Although it is the defense�s position that all tapes and sealed information be made public, to comply with the Protective Order of April 14, 2009, portions that contain sealed information provided by the government have been redacted. The defense, however, urges this Court unseal the entire motion.�

However, Fitzgerald is adamantly opposed to unsealing the redacted documents lest his complicity in a Bush-ordered wiretap of Obama and Emanuel becomes known to the public. Fitzgerald�s knowledge of �smoking gun� evidence against Obama and Emanuel ensured that Obama renominated Fitzgerald as U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois. By focusing his criminal probe on Blagojevich and Harris, Fitzgerald is also providing protection for Bush, Dick Cheney, and then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey from potential repercussions from a White House-ordered electronic surveillance program directed against a presidential candidate/president-elect and his top political adviser.

The word from federal national security officials is that the outgoing Bush administration picked up a wealth of �blackmailable� intelligence on Obama and Emanuel from their wiretaps of the now president and his chief of staff. Obama�s sleazy deals with Rezko and his shopping of his Senate seat and Emanuel�s contacts with Israeli intelligence officials and his penchant for bizarre behavior at Chicago gymnasiums frequented by the city�s professional and affluent gay community reportedly stand at the top of the FBI�s �catch.� 

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright � 2010

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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