December 29th, 2008
04:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Prosecutors may release some Blagojevich tapes to IL lawmakers

Fitzgerald is looking to release some of the Blagojevich tapes to lawmakers.
Fitzgerald is looking to release some of the Blagojevich tapes to lawmakers.

(CNN) - U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is seeking court approval to provide Illinois lawmakers with partial tapes of four of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's wiretapped phone conversations.

Fitzgerald's decision follows a request from the Illinois House of Representatives' Special Investigative Committee, which is considering impeachment charges against the Illinois governor.

In a motion filed Monday, Fitzgerald wrote, "Although many relevant communications were intercepted, the government believes that, on balance, it is appropriate to seek the disclosure of four intercepted calls, in redacted form, to the Committee, and that disclosure of the calls by themselves would not interfere with the ongoing criminal investigation."

The motion emphasizes prosecutors do not take a position on whether Blagojevich should be impeached.

The motion also says that while U.S. law "does not necessarily require the government to obtain judicial authorization before disclosing intercepted communications to other law enforcement or investigative officers, the government does so here out of an abundance of caution and in order to afford
the interceptees in the recorded calls an opportunity to be heard and to object, if they so choose."

Blagojevich's attorney Ed Genson was testifying Monday before the Illinois House panel and could not be reached for comment on Fitzgerald's court motion.

As part of his testimony, Genson made a more general comment about the wiretapped conversations.

"The fact is, nothing happened," he said. "There is nothing in that tape or affidavit saying that anybody was propositioned, acknowledging that they were talked to. There is nothing in that tape that shows that people were asked to give money or campaign contributions or anything. It's just talk. That's what it is, unfortunate talk, talk that shouldn't have been made, perhaps, but not actions."

FBI agents arrested Blagojevich on December 9 after federal prosecutors alleged, among other things, that he had tried to "sell" Obama's former Senate seat. Blagojevich denies any wrongdoing.


Filed under: Illinois • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. t

    you people need to focus on the issues at hand, Palin is old news..........

    December 29, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. Steve - in Chicago

    ian – if Fitz lets ALL the tapes out now, the criminals – oops, I mean politicians – who were elected to serve & not steal might get away with it after all.

    At least this way we can go on believing some of 'em are ethical enough NOT to get caught doing the dirt while the tapes are running... for awhile.

    December 29, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. Chris E

    I agree with BEN the LAW is for the RICH not the POOR. But one day the LAW is going to change

    December 29, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Meh

    Ian< According to the article, it's because they don't want to ruin the investigation. Makes sense to me.

    December 29, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. California Gold

    The recordings disclosed after his arrest were so full of vulgarities and profanity it was difficult, in some instances, to understand what he was trying to say. One would think a man in his position had a better command of the English language and did not have to pollute the air in order to express himself. Or does polluting the air with garbage mouth jargon make him a Real Big Man? Does he also drive a certain type of car to compensate for .....?

    December 29, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. Texas Teacher

    Come on... let's get this good ole boy old time politics out in the open.... Both sides of the aisle must learn that these tactics will no longer fly! We the People are wide awake now.... and we are watching all of you! :)

    December 29, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  7. Blagojevich for President!

    At times like these, we NEED a TOUGH, DECISIVE and THOROUGHLY HONEST candidate for President! ... With a WHOPPING 4% approval rating, you CAN'T go wrong! ... Blagojevich for President!

    December 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. David S.

    What a joke to let this crook stay in office, way to go Illinois

    December 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  9. Kimo

    Blago is typical Chicago style politics. Not much different than an unknown who had to rub shoulders with all the corruption in Chicago to move up the ladder so quickly...it makes you wonder.

    December 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  10. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Blago is dirty.

    I hope he gets ripped a new one.

    December 29, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. jaye

    String this mess out as long as possible –
    just throw him in jail and forget it.

    December 29, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. Dirty Tactics by Fitzgerald

    Fitzgerald is playing politics by releasing redacted tapes of a federal wiretap before bringing charges against the Governor. This is a bad move, and one that will discredit Fitzgerald in this case as well as tarnish his reputation. Whatever happened to innocent until provem guilty - and why prosecute this guy in public before even charging him. This is bogus. I smell a coverup – trying to get rid of the Governor without putting Obama's staff under oath

    December 29, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    He should be in jail and/or impeached. Just another in a long line of corrupt officials. The courts and the people must sanitize the whole system first, then maybe there will be clean politicians and officials who do the right thing....Oh wait... that's just a dream!

    December 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Ms. G

    We have had so many dirty politics in our lifetime that our children almost did not know what kind of virtues should someone bring to an office. Thanks to president-elect Obama, we had a sense of what good politic can be without resulting to use the underhanded tactics that we have seen and lived for we don"t know how long. Our children saw dirty tactics in politic as normal. Politicians as a whole have made a mockery of our values. They have done us a disservice to our country and that is why people over seas don't trust us anymore. I hope that president-elect Obama restore that status for us.

    December 29, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. What kind of tapes? Queue soft porn music

    Boun-cha, Boun Boun.. a tennis pro leans against the net, 'Blago, you pitch or hit'

    To jail with him, Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Gonzalos, Ashcroft and Rove – any others I left out? of at least Scooter should accompany

    December 29, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  16. earle,florida

    Is this guy Fitzgerald nuts, or what? He wasted the taxpayers money going after Scooter (Cheney's right hand man), and never once questioned Karl (The Marx's-man) Rove, and in the end Bush just set him free? So,what gives here? The guy struts around with his 48 oz. coffee, with his two oversized brief cases,(probably filled with donuts) and his secretary,who seems to be gaiting right behind this lobo striding hic-cup of a Chicagoian prosecutor! His unprofessional handling of a premature press release prejudused by scathing remarks regarding Gov. Blago, and now handing over these tapes, not only jepordizes the case against Blago, but will desecrate the right to have a fair trial. My personal opinion would be to relieve this individual (cowboy) of his duties ,and bring an independent on board. This is getting to sound,and appear more like a public lynching,...

    December 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  17. happy new year

    what in the world has happened to america???

    December 29, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  18. Stu-Florida

    I sure hope Bubba has a very Happy New Year. This is a gift from the people of Illinois...
    Don't drop the soap, pat!!

    December 29, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. Paul

    What is Fitz waiting for? Time to put up or shut up.

    December 29, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. Scott

    He just won't release any tapes that may implicate Obama or his chief of staff. The white washing begins and this administration is not even in office yet.

    December 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  21. CA Indie for Obama

    JP, Larry, Bill
    you all are illiterate morons.
    can't comprehend what is printed or spoken; only understands partisan republican talking points. Just because your repub leaders have gone through the most corrupt era in history, one (er, two, counting Jefferson) do not equal out to Bob Allen, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, just to mention a few.
    Obama did not pay to play; otherwise, why else was blago swearing at him?
    you guys must be part of the 25% who still want bush in office. try the 21st century some time...it's gotten a lot better since bush took office.

    December 29, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
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