My pal attorney and now Fox News Contributor Tamara Holder points to the Federal Prosecution of disgraceful former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich - Fitz is doing the dozens on Blago
Tamara Holder and I have crossed swords over police issues and other dicey topics - we rarely agree. Like my pals Steve Rhodes and Phil Krone, Tamara is Left of Center in her views and a like those two worthies a generous, thoughtful and witty adversary.
Doing the Dozens is an African American verbal slap-down between two rivals.
The dozens has its origins in the slave trade of New Orleans where deformed slaves—generally slaves punished with dismemberment for disobedience—were grouped in lots of a 'cheap dozen' for sale to slave owners. For a Black to be sold as part of the 'dozens' was the lowest blow possible.
In the Patrick Fitzgerald twist on the game only one player is allowed -Fitzy and The G. Fitzy does Political Justice - Gin Up Wild Public and Political Hate of Someone and Fitzy Prosecutes - Hate George Ryan -Check; Hate Jon Burge - Well Yeah!; Hate Blago - Ditto. Old Timers say the Feds can convict a Ham Sandwich - well Blago is 165 Libs of Smoked Mickleberry's! But, I think Fitzy squeezed out his shot way too soon. Blago was not yet the Publicly Marketed Figure of the Two Minute Hate.
George Ryan was going down because of the Willis Kids and Jon Burge arrested every Denzel Washington Look-alike in Area 2 and G. Flint Taylor had played the lazy-assed Chicago Media like Charlie Daniels for twenty years. George Ryan was given the maximum and curb-kicked out of every nickel he had earned in public service. Burge is going away even if the Holy Trinity show up.
Rod Blagojevich is a metaphor for everything that is wrong in and with politics - pure smarm, sleaze, and the rapid rising ascent of an unskilled, untalented, and larcenous goof.
However, Fitzy pulled the trigger on Blago immediately after the election of President Obama. Why? A question for the ages.
Blago has an A-Team Defense Squad around him and the howling mobs of outraged citizens - many of whom were committed Rod Blagojevich Partisans for years.
Tamara Holder lays out a solid presentation of the Prosecution and indicates why I believe that the daffy dimitted Democrat former Governor very likely may walk without ever spending a few semesters in the Iron Hotel.
Voila! The Dirty Dozens:
. Eight (8) of the Government's potential witnesses have been convicted of major federal crimes, yet they have not been sentenced. (Stuart Levine pleaded guilty in July 2009, yet he remains to be sentenced; also, John Harris, Tony Rezko and 5 others await sentencing.) Christopher Kelly's suicide is off limits for the defense too. (He was a co-defendant and close friend of Blago.)
2. The yet-to-be-sentenced witnesses have an incentive to tell the jury what the Government wants. Not until after these people testify will the Government determine the quality of and "truthfulness" of the person's testimony in its decision to recommend a favorable sentence for their own crimes.
3. Government witness Stuart Levine's drug abuse is not allowed before the jury, even though he admitted to abusing Ketamine, a horse tranquilizer, among other illegal drugs. How can the jury not consider one's zombie-like state-of-mind when determining whether he is a credible witness? (A judge in the same court found that such evidence was "fair game," yet Judge Zagel ruled it inadmissible!)
4. Stuart Levine says he's been committing crimes since 1972, yet the defense cannot impeach him by asking about his lengthy criminal past. A tranquilized criminal. Lovely.
5. The defense was not given transcripts of the 500+ hours of FBI audiotapes. The prosecution suggested they will play only 100 hours of the tapes. The defense's request to play all of the tapes was denied.
6. There were a total of about 5-6000 conversations. During the recordings, the Feds turned the tapes on and off as a method of "minimization." Put another way, it was the Feds who determined what part of a conversation was important and worth recording.
7. The Government has 800+ witnesses. They have not shared with the defense who they intend to call and on what date. As a result, the defense must be prepared to shoot from the hip when a random person strolls into court.
8. Even though there is no indication of who's going to testify on any given day, the judge ordered the defense to tell the Government if they plan to mention Blago's "good acts" in their opening, so the Government can prep for a rebuttal. This makes no sense whatsoever. I have never heard of the defense having to provide the prosecution with their theories of the case. Plus, argument is not part of an opening statement!
9. The defense asked for police reports in September 2009 but did not receive the reports until March 2010. The 175,000 pages of reports were generated before September 2009 -- in fact, they were generated an entire year before they were received, in March 2009! 175,000 pages.
10. The defense asked for a 30-day delay of trial, in anticipation of the Supreme Court's "honest services" rulings on July 1. The judge denied the one-month delay. Now, even if the rulings on "honest services" are in Blago's favor, it's too late because the jury will have already heard potentially damaging evidence. Then what is the judge going to say, "All of the past month's worth of evidence...um...there are certain parts you should not take into consideration." Give me a break! A 30-day delay wouldn't have been the end of the world, especially since the Government's case is so airtight!
11. Before the voir dire ever occurred, the judge sent 300 of 400 potential jurors home for "hardship" excuses. Like, "I live with my mom and I don't have a car; therefore, I cannot be here every day." That guy probably got excused.
12. The judge said he'll revisit the defense's request to have Obama testify. Every lawyer knows this means the judge is not going to require the President's presence. Interesting, considering the President issued a "transition-team" memo that specifically stated that he had Rahm Emanuel call the Governor's office to discuss his favorite candidates for the Senate seat.
In spite of the rulings and prosecution's tactics, I believe Rod Blagojevich has the greatest defense lawyers on his side. Be careful, Mr. Fitzgerald: I don't think Lincoln is going to be so quick to roll over in his grave.
Well done, Tamara! The Huffington Post??? My God, woman! You are too talented to be on Arianna's Hollywood Squares!