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Blagojevich Wiretap Transcripts and FBI Charges in Plain English

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      * ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, and JOHN HARRIS/Criminal Complaint*                                     Action




      COUNT 1: Starting from 2002 to the present, Blago and Harris schemed to defraud the
      state and the people of Illinois. They did this through mail and wire fraud.




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      COUNT 2: As agents of the state, they received more than $10,000 for these services in
      federal benefits. In return they:

           Demanded the firing of specific Chicago Tribune employees responsible for negative
           articles about them. In exchange, they offered business deals with the state. To be
           exact, they offered millions of dollars in State financial assistance to the Tribune
           regarding the Wrigley Field baseball stadium.




      I’m a Special Agent for the FBI, and base this complaint on facts found in the attached
      sworn document.




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      I’m referred to in this complaint as “Affiant.”




      I’m a Special Agent with the FBI assigned to Chicago, Illinois.

      I’ve been an FBI agent for over 22 years.

      I’m assigned to the West Resident Agency.

      I investigate white collar crimes, and have been for most of my career.




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      I’ve been a part of this investigation and have learned details of it through interviews and
      documents submitted by other FBI agents, the IRS, the US Postal Inspection Service
      (USPIS) and the US Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General (DOLIG).

      I’ve also spoken to witnesses, and reviewed:
          1. Pen register information [device that records numbers dialed]
          2. Phone line traces
          3. Phone records
          4. Information from telephone wire taps

      I’m also familiar with:
          1. Conversations that took place in the offices of Friends of Blagojevich (FOB)
          2. Testimony from the trial of Antoin Rezko




      This affidavit supports the attached criminal complaint and arrest warrants charging
      Blago and Harris with:




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      Conspiracy to defraud the state and people of Illinois of honest services. They did this
      through mail and wire fraud.




      As agents of the state, they received more than $10,000 for these services in federal
      benefits. In return they:

           Demanded the firing of specific Chicago Tribune employees responsible for negative
           articles about them. In exchange, they offered business deals with the state. To be
           exact, they offered millions of dollars in State financial assistance to the Tribune
           regarding the Wrigley Field baseball stadium.




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      Blago has been the Governor of Illinois since 2002.




      Harris is Blago’s chief of staff.




      As public servants, they each owe honesty to the state and people of Illinois.




      The state Constitution demands public funds, property and credit to be used for public
      purposes only.




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      State law forbids Blago and Harris from:

           1) Using their authority to gain personally
           2) Asking for, or accepting, unauthorized fees or rewards




      State law forbids Blago from accepting unauthorized gifts or advantages that are meant
      to influence him in office.




      FOB is a private political organization setup on behalf of Blago to support his campaign
      efforts.




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      The Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) was created to police the public interest in the state.
      The members are appointed and removed by the Governor.

      The IFA receives government funds, and can be audited by the state Auditor General.




      The Governor is the elected representative of the people when it comes to the IFA.

      The IFA received about $493,750 from the state in 2008.

      The state received over $10,000 in federal benefits in 2008.




      I haven’t included everything I know, since I only need to show enough facts to establish
      that it’s probably true in order to file the complaint and get arrest warrants.




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      Since 2003, the government has been looking into claims of illegal activity in the state of
      Illinois administration under Blago. Evidence shows:

      Blago conspired with many people starting as early as 2002. In October 2008, he and
      Harris devised a scheme to use mail and wire communications to defraud the state and
      residents. They used the Governor’s office in a way so that Blago and others could gain
      personally and financially.




      In November 2008, Blago and Harris began demanding the Chicago Tribune fire members
      of the editorial board who were responsible for negative articles about Blago. They
      manipulated the Tribune by promising State money in connection with the sale of
      Wrigley Field. This is how it happened:


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      Blago, and sometimes Harris, tried to get money for Blago, members of his family, and
      third parties like FOB, in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions,
      state employment, state contracts and access to state funds.




      Blago and Harris threatened to withhold $100 million in state financial assistance
      connected with Wrigley Field from the Tribune if they didn’t fire certain people.




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      Blago and Harris schemed to use Blago’s authority when appointing the Senator who
      would fill Obama’s vacated position. For example, Blago wanted to be appointed as the
      Secretary of Health and Human Services under Obama. If a union would use their
      influence to get the position for him, he would install a Senator that was favorable to
      unions.




      In another instance, in October 2008, the government found out that Blago was
      accelerating his corrupt fund raising activities to get as much money as possible before
      the start of ethics legislation on January 1, 2009. This legislation would block his ability
      to raise money from people or companies that did business with the state. The
      Government got approval to install bugging devices at the FOB offices and wiretap
      Blago’s home phone. This is how:




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      On October 21, 2008, Chief Judge James F. Holderman authorized bugging for 30 days in
      two rooms of the FOB office: Blago’s personal office and conference room.

      On November 19, 2008, the Judge extended bugging for another 30 days.




      On October 29, 2008, the Judge also agreed to tap phones in Blago’s home.

      On November 26, 2008, Acting Chief Judge Matthew F. Kennelly agreed to extend this for
      another 30 days.




      The rest of this document deals with information received prior to bugging and
      wiretapping, showing Blago used campaign contributions in exchange for favors in office.
      It also covers information gathered from intercepted conversations related to additional
      crimes. I have divided it into three topics that show:



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           a) Efforts to get campaign contributions in exchange for favors as Governor
           b) Efforts to use state funds to pressure the Chicago Tribune to fire board members,
              by denying financial assistance in connection with Wrigley Field
           c) Efforts to gain financially through the appointment of a Senate seat




      The facts below are enough to show illegal things probably happened. I gained this
      information when I interviewed Ali Ata.




      Ali Ata testified earlier that he discussed his appointment to a State position while a
      $25,000 donation check to the FOB was sitting on the table in front of Blago.



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      Alta also said Blago once told him he was aware of a large contribution he made to FOB.
      He said he understood Ata would be joining his administration and that Ata better get a
      job “where [Ata] can make some money.”




      Ata is a businessman who pled guilty to tax fraud. As part of his plea agreement, he
      agreed to cooperate with the government on several things, including the Blago
      investigation. Ata also testified in the 2008 Antoin Rezko trial. Part of his testimony in
      that trial overlaps with this one, such as the following:




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      Around 2000 or 2001, while Blago was a State Representative, he asked Ata to support
      him in his run for Governor. Ata noticed Rezko was close to Blago and very involved in
      fundraising for him, including overseeing Ata’s fundraising for Blago.




      In 2002, Ata talked to Rezko several times about possibly getting a high-level government
      position if Blago was elected. Rezko told Ata to put a list together of 3 State agencies Ata
      was interested in, including the Capital Development Board.




      In August 2002, Blago attended a fund raising event held by Ata. Before the event, Ata
      promised Rezko he would raise $25,000 there. He did this by personally throwing in
      $5,000 of his own money.




      Later that year, Rezko asked Ata for more money for Blago. Ata agreed to another
      $25,000, and arranged to bring the check to Rezko’s office.


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      When Ata got to Rezko’s office, he gave him the check in an envelope. Rezko then took
      Ata into a conference room where the two of them met with Blago. Rezko placed the
      envelope on the table and said Ata had been a good supporter and was willing to take a
      job in Blago’s administration. Blago was glad and acknowledged this, then asked Rezko
      if he had talked to Ata about positions in the administration. Rezko said yes.




      After the meeting, Ata completed an application for a state appointment.

      In early 2003, Rezko told Ata he was going to be appointed to head the state Capital
      Development Board. Later he said the position wasn’t available but they would find
      something else. After some time, Rezko talked to Ata about a position with the newly
      formed IFA.



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      In July 2003, Rezko asked Ata for an additional $50,000 donation to Blago’s campaign.
      Ata only agreed to $25,000, and gave Rezko a check. Afterwards, Ata talked to Blago at
      a fundraising event at Navy Pier. Blago told him he was aware of the donation and that
      he knew he would be joining Blago’s administration. Ata said he considered a position.
      Blago said it better be one where Ata could make some money.




      Ata was taken aback and said something to Rezko about it. Rezko said he wasn’t
      surprised because he had heard Blago say similar things before.




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      The information here came from the testimony of Joseph Cari in the Rezko trial.

      Cari said Blago told him he could use his power to award state contracts in order to
      generate campaign contributions. Cari also said he had similar discussions with Rezko
      and Chris Kelly [a principal campaign fundraiser for Blago] who specifically offered him state
      work in exchange for Cari’s help with fundraising. The following is a portion of that
      testimony:




      Cari was a significant fundraiser for Democratic causes, and the national finance chair for
      Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign. He had several meetings with Blago,
      Chris Kelly, Rezko, and Stuart Levine. [Stuart Levine was a Chicago-area businessman and associate
      of Rezko and Kelly. He served on the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board and the board of trustees of
      the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois.]
      On October 29, 2003, Cari, Blago, Kelly, Levine and others rode on an airplane arranged
      by Levine, to a Blago fundraiser in New York hosted by Cari.



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      Cari and Blago discussed Cari’s fundraising background. Blago talked about his interest in
      running for President. He told Cari it was easier for Governors to get donations because
      they could “award contracts,” and jobs to contributors. He said Rezko and Kelly were his
      point people in raising campaign funds.

      Later, Blago told Cari that there were state contracts to give to contributors that helped
      him, Rezko, and Kelly. Cari testified Blago ended saying that Rezko and Kelly would
      follow up with Cari about it.




      At one point during this trip, Levine told Cari there was a plan to have Rezko and Kelly
      pick consultants to do business with state boards and then ask those consultants to
      contribute to the campaign.

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      Cari also testified that he met with Rezko and Levine at Rezko’s office. Rezko told him he
      had a close relationship with the Blago administration, and a role in picking consultants,
      law firms, and others to get state business. He said Blago’s chief of staff, Lon Monk,
      would help setup Rezko’s choices for state work. He then told Cari if he would raise
      money for Blago, the administration would be financially helpful to Cari’s business
      interests.




      MARCH 5, 2004: Cari met Kelly at a restaurant. Kelly said he was following up on Cari’s
      earlier conversation with Blago, Rezko, and Levine, and needed his help raising money on
      a national level for Blago. Cari declined. Kelly pushed Cari by saying it would be good for
      Cari’s business interests; that he could have whatever he wanted. Cari understood this to
      mean he would have any state work he wanted.

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      Cari testified he was involved in an extortion attempt of JER, a real estate investment
      firm. JER was trying to get an investment from the Teachers Retirement System (TRS).
      The corruption involving TRS and Levine is detailed below.

      Based on talks with Blago, Rezko, Kelly and Levine, about the plan to give consultants
      state work and then asked for donations, Cari believed JER needed a consultant.




      Cari told employees of JER they should hire a consultant. He said in Illinois the Governor
      and his associates pick the consultants for specific deals. Cari also said if they didn’t hire
      the consultant then JER would not get the money it was asking from the state. In the
      end, JER exposed the extortion attempt and did get money from the state.




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      December 2003, the FBI started to investigate rumors that Levine was soliciting bribes in
      exchange for board action. At the time, Levine was a businessman serving on two State
      boards: board of trustees of TRS and the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board
      (Planning Board). As part of the investigation, the government began tapping several
      phones used by Levine.




      MAY 4, 2005: Levine was indicted on 28 counts of mail and wire fraud, extortion, bribery,
      and money laundering (Grady case).

      AUGUST3, 2005: Levine was indicted on 13 counts of mail and wire fraud, bribery, and
      attempted extortion in another case (St. Eve case).

      OCTOBER 27, 2006: Levin pled guilty to several counts in Grady as part of a plea
      agreement. That agreement dismissed all other charges.


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      The government asked Levine about a lot of things, including what he knew about the
      Blago fundraising corruption. Levine also testified at the Rezko trial. Parts of his
      testimony in that trial relate here, so the remainder of this section refers to that
      testimony unless noted.




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      Levine testified that in October 2003 he took a plane ride with Blago and Kelly. Levine
      thanked Blago for reappointing him to the Planning Board. Blago said he should only talk
      to Kelly or Rezko about the Planning Board, “but you stick with us and you will do very
      well for yourself.” Blago said this in front of Kelly. According to Levine, he understood
      this to mean that Blago did not want him to speak to him directly about the boards.
      Levine also understood it to mean he could make a lot of money working with the Blago
      administration.




      Mercy Hospital sought permission from the Planning Board to build a hospital in Illinois.
      Rezko gave permission after he was promised a substantial Blago campaign contribution.
      Rezko later told the Planning Board that he did this because Blago wanted them to
      receive the permit.




      Levine’s crimes include the abuse of his position on the Planning Board. He benefitted, as
      well as FOB. All 9 members of the Planning Board were appointed by the Governor.
      State law requires anyone constructing medical facilities to obtain a permit called a
      “Certificate of Need” (CON) from the Planning Board.
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      Two other Planning Board members, Thomas Beck and Imad Almanaseer, also testified at
      the Rezko trial.

      Beck said he was reappointed by Rezko, who told him which CON permits to approve.
      Beck had to communicate Rezko’s preferences to the rest of the Board.

      Beck understood that Rezko spoke on behalf of Blago regarding CONs.




      Almanaseer said Beck told him that Rezko wanted Almanaseer to vote a certain way, so
      to follow Levine’s lead.

      Almanaseer said before Planning Board meetings Beck would give him notecards telling
      him how to vote. Beck confirmed this in his testimony.



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      Levine created a plan to enrich himself and FOB. Mercy Hospital needed a CON for a new
      hospital. Levine knew the contractor, so in November 2003 he checked with Rezko to see
      if Rezko wanted Mercy to get a CON. Rezko said no.

      Levine asked if the contractor paid a bribe and contributed to Blago’s campaign, would
      that change his mind?

      Rezko agreed it would.




      Attorney Steven Loren backed up Levine’s story in his testimony in the Rezko trial and to
      the grand jury. Levine relayed the conversation to him in November 2003.

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      After that event, and confirmed by Levine, Beck, and Almanaseer, and in recorded
      conversations, Rezko reversed his decision and approved the CON for Mercy Hospital.




      Mercy received its CON through an irregular vote at the public Planning Board meeting.
      This brought publicity to the Board and its disbanding.

      Almanaseer later saw Rezko at a fundraiser. Almanaseer was still embarrassed about
      the result of the meeting and Rezko’s role in it.




      Almanaseer asked Rezko why he changed his mind and voted for the Mercy CON. Rezko
      said, “The Governor wanted it to pass.”



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      Levine was also a member of the TRS board of trustees. TRS is an Illinois public school
      system pension plan. TRS manages over $30 billion in assets for the schools. The TRS
      board of trustees votes on how to invest the funds.




      Levine was appointed to the TRS Board in 2000.

      William Cellini owned part of a real estate firm that did a lot of business with TRS.

      By the summer of 2001, Levine effectively controlled the TRS board and got them to vote
      with Cellini and Levine.




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      At the Rezko trial Levine said he and Cellini were both powerful, long-standing
      Republican operatives in Illinois. They believed they had to get in with Blago, since he
      was the first Democratic governor there in over 20 years.




      Levine also stated that one of the first things Cellini did was raise a lot of money for
      Blago.

      Kelly Glynn was the Finance Director for FOB from May 2002 until August 2004. Glynn
      testified at the Rezko trial and was also interviewed by the government. She explained
      that FOB tracked and credited money brought in through fundraising through the use of a
      computer database.




      She talked about one fundraising even in October 2002, held by Cellini. Most of the
      guests were members of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association. So
      Chris Kelly instructed Glynn to track it as a Roadbuilders event in combination with Rezko
      and others.
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       In the spring of 2003, it looked as though Blago’s administration would use legislation to
      consolidate TRS with two other State pension boards.




      Levine and Cellini were worried that if the pension boards were consolidated, they might
      lose their control of TRS. Later, Levine stated that Cellini said he spoke with Rezko and
      Kelly, and offered to direct funds to investment firms that donated to Blago’s campaign in
      exchange for their help in stopping the consolidation.

      Rezko and Kelly agreed to this.




      Levine understood they would give investment firms TRS money based on their political
      contributions to Blago.


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      Levine’s version of the story was backed by a recorded call on April 12, 2004 where he
      told someone, “You know, I sat down and talked to Cellini a long time ago and I said if
      you can convince those guys [Rezko and Kelly] to let us stay in place… We got a real
      machinery and if there’s an accommodation you know we’ll certainly try to
      accommodate but if they just wanna stick things in, you know I’m gonna leave, that’s no
      way to do that.”




      Levine claims:

           1. Cellini said Rezko and Kelly met with Blago and other state officials about
              consolidating pension boards.

           2. Cellini said Rezko remarked that Blago didn’t think he should take Kelly’s advice
              over a senior state official.


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           3. Cellini said Rezko then asked him to get Levine to put together some talking points
              showing why the consolidation was a bad decision.

           4. Levine got those talking points from Steve Loren, TRS outside counsel.




      The pension consolidation proposal didn’t happen during the Spring 2003 legislative
      session.

      Levine told attorney Loren that Kelly and Rezko assured him the administration would
      leave TRS alone. In exchange, Levine agreed to help when occasional donors wanted to
      be repaid for their acts. Rezko and Kelly would pay them back by promising investments
      from TRS (Levine), and directing the payment of placement fees.

      Attorney Loren understood this to mean Rezko and Kelly would use the fees to reward
      Blago’s political contributors. Loren also understood this to mean that they steered free
      money to whomever they chose, without those people doing anything for it.


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      Levine said once in awhile Rezko and Kelly would give him names and he would pass
      them on to the TRS staff in an attempt to direct business their way. Sometimes he
      wasn’t able to arrange it because they didn’t meet basic TRS criteria. (For example, TRS
      didn’t invest in hedge funds at that time, so if Rezko or Kelly gave him the name of one,
      he couldn’t do anything to help them.)




      As described below, Rezko, Levine and others withheld $220 million in state funds in an
      attempt to extort campaign contributions to Blago from a specific company. When the
      attempt failed, Rezko checked with Blago before everyone agreed that the company
      wouldn’t receive states funds again afterwards.


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      Capri Capital was a real estate investment management firm with a long-standing
      relationship with TRS.

      FEBRUARY 2004: Capri expected to receive $220 million from TRS to manage. Levine
      tried to stall the payment. As the $220 million looked like it would move forward, Levine,
      Rezko, Kelly, and Cellini, conspired to extort Capri and Thomas Rosenberg, one of Capri’s
      owners. Levine and Rezko agreed if Rosenberg wanted the money he was either going to
      have to make a $1.5 million donation to Blago’s campaign, or pay them a 1% fee.




      According to Levine and verified in recorded conversations, both Kelly and Cellini joined
      the extortion attempt. Cellini told Rosenberg that Capri had not gotten its money
      because he didn’t donate to Blago’s fund. Rosenberg realized this was extortion. He
      threatened to turn them in to the police. Afterwards, Levine, Rezko, Kelly and Cellini
      backed off, but agree that after giving Capri the money the State of Illinois would no
      longer give them any business.

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      The wire tap on Levine’s phones revealed several talks about this extortion attempt.

      MAY 1, 2004: Levine spoke to Dr. Robert Weinstein, who participated in Levine’s crimes.
      During the call, Levine told Weinstein about a recent meeting with Rezko and Kelly. He
      said Rezko said Rosenberg would have a choice: either raise $1.5 million for the June
      campaign fundraiser, or work out a finder’s fee.

      On other calls Levine and Cellini talked about Rosenberg’s reaction when he figured out
      Rezko and Kelly were stalling his money, and was told he could walk away if he didn’t
      cooperate.




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      MAY 8, 2004: Cellini and Levine were recorded after Rosenberg threatened to tell the
      police about the extortion. Cellini told Levine, Rezko and Kelly were hammering people
      with state contracts in exchange for fundraising contributions. Cellini said he was a
      nervous wreck and that they needed to talk to Rezko and Kelly about Rosenberg’s
      threats.




      As confirmed, Levine, Kelly, Rezko, and Cellini met days later and discussed the threats.
      Rezko suggested giving him the state money but cut him out of further business. Kelly
      wanted to withhold the money.




      MAY 12, 2004: Levine and Cellini talked about their meeting with Rezko and Kelly.
      Levine described another conversation he had with Rezko, saying Rezko again asked
      Levine to solve the Rosenberg problem with his “head, not your heart.” Levine told
      Cellini that Rezko wanted him to give Rosenberg a hard time. Cellini confirmed he
      thought Rezko was okay giving him money this time, but no more business with the state
      or with TRS.



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      MAY 12, 2004: Cellini talked to Levine.

      Cellini: “Did he tell you too, that the big guy said Rosenberg means nothing to him?”

      Levine testified that he understood this to mean Rezko said Blago was aware of the
      extortion but Rosenberg meant nothing to Blago.

      Levine confirmed he was told the same thing. Rezko said Blago agreed that the $220
      million was the last business the state would give to Rosenberg.




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      Since October 2008, the FBI has conducted interviews with Individual A, an associate of
      Blago who helped his fundraising.

      In meetings with Blago, Individual A said Fundraiser A, the chairman of Friends of
      Blagojevich, made a strong push to raise funds before a new state ethics law was to go
      into effect in January 1, 2009. This law prohibits any individual or entity having state
      contracts of more than $50,000 from certain campaign donations.




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      Individual A described efforts by Blago and Fundraiser A to get campaign contributions
      from state contractors by the end of the year. In fact, Individual A claims Blago is seeking
      a total of $2.5 million from the Friends of Blagojevich list. The FBI got that list, which
      gives names and amounts sought. A comparison shows a number of the individuals and
      organizations on that list were given state contracts or benefits by Blago, such as
      appointments to state government.




      Individual A told the FBI about several incidents where Blago tried to get campaign
      contributions using his power as Governor. Three are below:




      OCTOBER 6, 2008: Individual A and Individual B went to a meeting with Blago and John
      Harris to see if any help could be given to Individual B’s business venture. After B left,
      Blago said he liked B and the project, and asked A to approach B about raising $100,000
      for FOB by the end of the year. Individual A later learned that Blago also spoke directly
      to Individual B about holding a fundraiser.




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      According to Individual A, the October meeting went like this:

           1. Individual B left the meeting.
           2. Blago told Individual A he was going to make an announcement about a $1.8
              billion project with the Tollway Authority.
           3. Blago said Lobbyist 1 would approach Highway Contractor 1 to ask for $500K for
              Friends of Blagojevich.


      Blago: “I could have made a larger announcement but wanted to see how they perform
      by the end of the year. If they don’t perform, fuck’em.”


      Individual A understood this to mean that Blago was willing to give more state money to
      the Tollway project but first wanted to see how much money Highway Contractor 1
      raises for his campaign.




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      Highway Contractor 1 is an officer of a company that supplies a large amount of concrete
      to the state. He/she is also an active member of the ACPA (American Concrete Pavement
      Association) in the state.

      OCTOBER 15, 2008: Blago did in fact announce a plan to have new tollway express lanes
      built at the cost of $1.8 billion.




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      OCTOBER 8, 2008: A fundraiser meeting took place with various individuals and
      organizations. The discussion turned to Children’s Memorial Hospital and Blago indicated
      he was going to give them $8 million in state funds through pediatric care reimbursement
      because he wanted to get Hospital Executive 1 for $50,000 in donations to his campaign
      fund. The recorded conversation described below confirms this, in that Blago comments
      he is going to withhold the state funds because Hospital Executive 1 didn’t make the
      campaign contribution.




      During this same meeting, Individual A said Blago mentioned media reports about Rezko.
      The story was that Rezko was cooperating with the government. Blago said he wasn’t
      concerned because he wasn’t involved in any illegal activity with Rezko. Fundraiser A
      then said, “unless prospectively somebody gets you on a wire [tap].”




      OCTOBER 22, 2008: The FBI tapped part of a meeting in the FOB office. Blago, Fundraiser
      A, and two lobbyists involved in fundraising for FOB were there. FBI agents were able to
      determine the following:

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      10:15 am: Blago called Highway Contractor 1. Only Blago’s portion of the call can be
      heard.

      Blago said hello to Highway Contractor 1, and that he was excited about the Tollway.

      Blago said he spoke with Individual C about fundraising rules taking place on January 1,
      2009. (Individual C is a former member of the US House of Representatives believed to
      be involved with Blago in trying to pass a capital bill worth billions of dollars that would
      benefit Highway Contractor 1 and his trade group.)

      Blago asked Highway Contractor 1 about fundraising, then ended the conversation.

      Blago: “Call me if you need anything.”




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      Certain wire tapped calls related to Blago’s attempt to get campaign contributions in
      exchange for favors through his office. Those calls back up the Rezko Trial testimonies
      that claim Blago was involved in exchanging campaign contributions for government
      favors. The calls also support Individual A’s claim that Blago is engaged in an effort to get
      as many contributions as possible from state contractors before the end of the year.
      Some of those communications are below:




      NOVEMBER 12, 2008: Blago talked to Fundraiser A concerning fundraiser efforts.
      Fundraiser A said he never heard from Hospital Executive 1. He said, “I’ve left three
      messages there so I’m gonna quit calling. I feel stupid now.” Blago asked when the most
      recent call was, and Fundraiser A said two days ago. Blago said, if they don’t get back to
      you then, then, last resort is, I’ll call.”




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      NOVEMBER 12, 2008: At 2:14 pm, Blago spoke with Deputy Governor A, a Deputy
      Governor of Illinois. The conversation follows below:




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      NOVEMBER 12, 2008: At 8:26 pm, Fundraiser A called to update Blago about fundraising
      efforts.

      Blago said to call Lobbyist 1 the next day and ask what to do about the fact that Hospital
      Executive 1 is not calling Fundraiser A back, and if Individual A gave instructions not to
      call back.

      Blago: “What do we do with this guy, [Hospital Executive 1]?”




      NOVEMBER 13, 2008: At 10:05 a.m., Blago asked Fundraiser A for an update, and about
      Highway Contractor 1. Fundraiser A said Lobbyist 1 is still working on it. Fundraiser A
      said he was going to meet Lobbyist 2 and someone at Weiss Memorial Hospital.

      Blago: “Yeah, now be real careful there. I mean the FBI went to see [Lobbyist 2]. You
      understand?”

      Fundraiser A also said he had a call into Individual A and will talk to him/her about
      Hospital Executive 1.




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      During this same phone call, they spoke about trying to get contributions from two other
      people before the end of the year. He/she told Blago that Lobbyist 1 wanted to talk to
      him about some sensitive matters and timing but that Contributor 1 was good for it.

      Blago said he knew Lobbyist 1 was in Springfield with Contributor 1, trying to push a bill
      before the end of the year.




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      It became clear through several calls that the bill Lobbyist 1 is interested in, is actually in
      Blago’s office waiting to be signed. It’s a law directing money from casinos to the horse
      racing industry.

      DECEMBER 3, 2008: Lobbyist 1 told Blago he spoke with Contributor 1 and explained
      there was concern about signing the bill because of timing, so the donation had to go in
      now. Blago commented, “Good job.”

       DECEMBER 4, 2008: Lobbyist 1 called Blago and asked him to call Contributor 1, “…Just
      to say, hello, I’m working on the timing of this thing but it’s gonna get done.” Blago said
      he would call and say he wanted to set up a fundraiser event where they could meet to
      go over dates for signing the bill. Lobbyist 1 assured Blago that Contributor 1 would be
      good for the donation because Lobbyist 1 “got in his face.”




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      In the November 13, 2008 call, Blago and Fundraiser A also talked about “60” (believed to
      be $60,000) received from a fundraiser held on November 12th by the president of
      Engineering Firm 1. According to government records, this firm received more than $10
      million each year from the state from 2004 through 2008. After this phone call Blago
      called the president of this firm and said, “I want to thank you again for your support and
      friendship and we are going to do everything we can to get that capital bill.” Blago is
      supporting a bill that gives billions to infrastructure and benefits companies like this firm.




      NOVEMBER 14, 2008: Fundraiser A told Blago he spoke with Individual A and that Blago
      needed to call Hospital Executive 1.

      Blago said he would.




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      Phone call recordings show Blago and John Harris are corruptly using the powers of
      Blago’s position to put financial pressure on the owners of the Chicago Tribune
      newspaper to fire board members who criticized Blago, and asked for his impeachment.




      An owner of the Tribune also owned and tried to sell the Chicago Cubs, and use the
      money to pay acquisition debt. The Tribune acquisition loan agreement required an
      acceleration of payments if any were late.



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      Based on wiretaps, the Tribune Company considered financing through the Illinois
      Finance Authority (IFA) for the sale of Wrigley Field. Blago and John Harris used the
      Governor’s office to insist on the firing of certain Tribune board members in exchange for
      help through the IFA.




      Blago directed Harris to tell the Tribune owner, associate, and financial advisor, that they
      were withholding state financial help in the Wrigley sale until certain board members
      were fired. Although I don’t go into all the calls here, the following summaries show
      some of the conversation between Blago, Harris, and the Tribune Financial Advisor.




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      NOVEMBER 3, 2008: Blago talked to Deputy Governor “A.” Blago said he was worried
      about being impeached in the Spring and the Tribune would push for it.

      Blago asked if he could check to see if the Tribune backed his impeachment. In fact, the
      Tribune had recently printed critical articles about him.




      NOVEMBER 3, 2010: Blago and Deputy Governor A talked again later about an article the
      Tribune printed recommending Michael Madigan as Blago’s replacement following
      impeachment. During the recorded call, Blago’s wife can be heard in the background
      saying, “…to hold up that fucking Cubs shit…fuck them.”

      Blago asked the Deputy Governor what he thought of his wife’s idea. The response was
      that he agrees with part of it.



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      Deputy Governor A said the Tribune Owner will claim he had nothing to do with the
      articles, “but I would tell him look, if you want to get your Cubs thing done get rid of this
      Tribune.”

      Later, Blago’s wife got on the phone and said the Tribune Owner can “fire” the writers as
      the owner. She then told Blago that if the Tribune Owner’s papers were hurting his
      business, he would do something about the board.

      Blago then got back on the phone.




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      Blago told the Deputy Governor to pull all the articles so John Harris could go to the
      Tribune Owner and say, “We’ve got some decisions to make now.”

      Blago: “Someone should say, ‘get rid of those people.’”

      Blago said he thinks they should then have Harris say, “Moving this stuff forward
      (believed to be a reference to the IFA helping with the Cubs sale)…someone’s gotta go to
      [Tribune Owner], we want to see him…it’s a political fuckin’ operation in there.”

      Deputy Governor A agreed and said Harris needs to be sensitive in how he does it.
      Blago said it’s, “straight forward.” And to say… “were doing this stuff for you, we believe
      this is right for Illinois [and] this is a big deal to [Tribune Owner] financially,” but what
      Blago is doing to help you is the same thing the Tribune says he should be impeached for.

      Blago said the Tribune Owner should be told, “Maybe we can’t do this now. Fire those
      fuckers.”




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      Deputy Governor A suggests Blago say, “I’m not sure we can do this anymore because
      we’ve been getting a ton of these editorials that say, look, we’re going around the
      legislature, we gotta stop and this is something the legislature hasn’t approved. We
      don’t want to go around the legislature anymore.”

      Blago agreed and said he wants Harris to make that case, “not me.” The Deputy Governor
      agreed, and Blago asks him to put a list of the articles together.




      NOVEMBER 3, 2008: In another call later that evening Blago talked to Advisor A, a former
      Deputy Governor under Blago, who is now a lobbyist. Blago said he’s going to the
      Tribune Owner to tell him he won’t help him because his own paper is saying to impeach
      him for trying to help the Tribune Owner. Blago said they’re going to go to the Tribune
      Owner, “before we pull the trigger on this deal,” (believed to mean helping the Tribune
      Owner get financing.)




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      NOVEMBER 4, 2008: Blago told Deputy Governor A to think about the “Tribune stuff,”
      and that he’s going to talk to Harris. The Deputy Governor confirmed he has people
      doing “research right now.” Blago said take the issue to the Tribune Owner and say,
      “Look, we got a problem at IFA. Here it is.”




      NOVEMBER 4, 2008: In a recorded call, Blago talked to Harris about the Tribune articles
      that suggested he should be impeached. He said they should talk to [Tribune Financial
      Advisor], Cubs Chairman, and Tribune Owner about the articles criticizing him for actions
      they are asking him to take, “on this Cubs deal at the IFA.” Blago said because of the
      impeachment articles, it was difficult to take a chance on the IFA deal. “I don’t want to
      give them grounds to impeach me.” Blago also said, “Our recommendation is to fire all
      those fucking people, get ‘em the fuck out of there and get us some editorial support.”




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      NOVEMBER 6, 2008: Blago spoke to Harris about a negative article in the Tribune again.
      Blago and Harris discussed a conversation Harris had with the [Tribune Financial Advisor]
      the day before.

      Harris said he told him, things “look like they could move ahead fine but, you know, there
      is a risk that all of this is going to get derailed by your own editorial page.”

      Harris said that he told him they need to discuss how to tone things down and change the
      focus of “that page.” Tribune Financial Advisor said that’s a delicate issue, he wanted to
      come in to talk to Harris about it and talk to the Tribune Owner first about it.




      Later, Blago and Harris talked about an upcoming meeting between Harris and the
      [believed to be] Tribune Financial Advisor. Harris said he will say that in his experience,
      you can’t “tread lightly” and you need “to make wholesale changes.” Harris says he will
      “throw it out there and let him figure out how to do it.”

      Blago stated that Harris’ suggestion will be to “get rid of these people,” and that “the

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      other point you want to make is…we sure would like to get some editorial support from
      your paper. Okay?”

      Harris: “I want to do that in person.”

      Harris stated that they wouldn’t get that “out of the current crew.”




      Blago : “This is a priority. Stay on it, right? I mean, he, he gets the message, doesn’t he?”

      Harris: “Oh yeah. He got it loud and clear,” referring to Wrigley Field deal.

      Blago: “What does this mean to them? Like $500 million? What does it mean to [Tribune
      Owner] in real terms?”

      Harris: “To them? About $100 million…maybe 150.”




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      Blago and Harris discussed details of the deal the Cubs are trying to get through the IFA.
      Harris said it’s basically a tax mitigation scheme where the IFA will “own title to the
      building [Wrigley Field],” and the Tribune won’t have to “pay capital gains tax.” Harris
      explained the total gain to the Tribune is around $100 million.

      Blago: “$100 million is nothing to sneeze at. That’s still worth something, isn’t it?”

      Harris said he planned to se e the [Tribune Financial Advisor] the following Monday
      (November 10, 2008).




      November 11, 2008: Blago talked to Harris and asked about the Tribune issue. Harris
      said he met with the Tribune Financial Advisor on November 10th and found he had
      talked to the Tribune owner and that the Tribune Owner “got the message and is very
      sensitive to the issue.” Harris said he was told there were corporate reorganizations and
      budget cuts coming, and reading between the lines, he’s going after that section.”




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      Blago: “Oh, that’s fantastic.”

      Harris said he got the clear feeling that the Tribune Financial Advisor was very sensitive
      to their concerns. Blago asked if the Tribune Financial Advisor understood the timeline
      for making changes.

      Harris: “Correct…November, December.”
      Blago: “Right.”

      Harris said he expects cuts to be done before the end of the month [November].

      Blago: “Wow. Okay, keep our fingers crossed. You’re the man. Good job, John.”




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      NOVEMBER 20, 2008: Blago asked Harris if there was progress with [Tribune Financial
      Advisor]. Harris said no.

      Blago: “Be smart and stay on top of that.”

      Blago said the Tribune wasn’t willing to listen to Deputy Governor A and basically hung
      up on him. Blago told Harris to touch base with Spokesman and Deputy Governor A, and
      to keep talking to Tribune Financial Advisor about it. He suggested Harris could say,
      “What are we going to do? We’ve got this IFA thing. We want to do all this. How’s that
      going?” Blago asked Harris if he understood what he wants and to “use your judgment.”




      NOVEMBER 21, 2008:
      Blago asked Harris if he told Deputy Governor A that, “McCormick is going to get bounced
      at the Tribune.” (Jim McCormick, Deputy Editorial Page Editor.)

      Harris said no. He only said McCormick is in a bad mood, so he wanted to check with
      [Tribune Financial Advisor] to see if it had something to do with the message about
      cutting people from the editorial board. Harris said, “I had singled out McCormick as
      somebody who was the most biased and unfair.”



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      Blago: “That would be great. McCormick is a bad guy. [Tribune Financial Advisor] is on
      top of this, right?”

      Harris replied yes, that he said they would be downsizing, and that they, “understand.”

      Blago confirmed that Harris made the point to [Tribune Financial Advisor] that the
      Tribune is supporting the idea that Blago should be impeached, even though the same
      thing is involved in helping with Wrigley Field.




      Blago asked if [Tribune Financial Advisor] understood that, “we are not in a position
      where we can afford to do that if…the Tribune is pushing impeachment.” Harris said,
      right,” and explained that the Tribune’s articles about impeachment “could jeopardize
      our efforts to do good things for people as well as the other thing (helping the Cubs
      sale).”

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      Blago: “There ya' go. He got the message?”
      Harris: “Yeah.”
      Blago: “Good.”




      NOVEMBER 21, 2008: Blago called Harris back 5 minutes later.

      Blago: “The Tribune thing is important, if we can get that.”
      Harris: “Delicate, very delicate.”
      Blago: “I know, I know. Use your judgment, don’t push too hard. But you know what
      you got to do, right?
      Harris: “Alright, sir.”




      Blago spoke to Chicago Cubs representatives several times about state funding for
      Wrigley Field.

      NOVEMBER 30, 2008: Blago spoke to “Sports Consultant,” the president of a Chicago-
      area sports consulting firm, who made remarks leading Blago to believe he was working
      with the Cubs on the Wrigley deal.



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      They talked about the importance of getting the IFA transaction approved at the
      December or January meeting, because Blago was thinking of leaving office in early
      January 2009, and his appointees would still be at IFA and could approve it.

      DECEMBER 3, 2008: They spoke again. Blago explained he controlled the state funds he
      could use to pay for improvements to Wrigley Field. Later he spoke with Cubs Chairman
      and said he could make funds available to the Cubs without going through the legislature,
      and suggested the Cubs come up with proposals for the money.




      DECEMBER 4, 2008: Tribune announced it was downsizing by 11 people. Blago spoke
      with Spokesman, who informed him that the “person we mentioned,” wasn’t cut. Blago
      said, “McCormick?” Spokesman confirmed. Blago wanted to be sure Harris knew this.
      Spokesman said he did.

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      DECEMBER 5, 2008: Tribune ran a front-page story about Blago being under criminal
      investigation. Blago talked to Harris about it.

      Blago: “What’s the deal? So does McCormick stay at the Tribune, huh?”
      Harris: “We haven’t heard that he’s gone, so.”
      Blago: “I mean, those layoffs were minor.”
      Harris: “Well, I know that got a lot to do.”
      Blago: “There’s still more coming?”
      Harris: “Yeah. They got a lot of cuts to make.”
      Blago: “Okay. At some point, we should talk to [Tribune Financial Advisor] again, right?
      Harris confirmed.




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      Blago and Harris spoke on the phone about trying to make money off selling Obama’s
      Senate Seat.




      By law, Blago has the sole authority to appoint a Senate seat replacement. Through
      wiretaps Blago was heard conspiring to trade the seat in exchange for any of the
      following:

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           1. Positions for himself that the President elect has the power to appoint (such as
              Secretary of Health and Human Services)
           2. Wife’s placement on corporate boards
           3. Blago’s placement in a high position at a private foundation, with salary to match
           4. Millions of dollars in donations to a non-profit organization he would create and
              employ himself at a high salary after leaving office




      Summaries of a portion of the calls between Blago and Harris are outlined below.

      This doesn’t include everything that was said, every call that was made, or conversations
      recorded between Blago and others. This focuses on recent conversations about getting
      campaign contributions upfront in exchange for the Obama senate seat.




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      NOVEMBER 3, 2008: Blago talked to Deputy Governor A the day before the US
      Presidential election. They discussed the potential Senate seat vacancy.

      Blago: “If…they’re not going to offer anything of any value, then I might just take it.”




      NOVEMBER 3, 2008: Later that day, Blago spoke to Advisor A because the media
      reported that Candidate 1, an advisor to the Obama was interested in the seat, and
      supported by Obama.

      Blago: “Unless I get something real good for [Candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you
      know what I’m saying.”


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      “I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I
      can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I’m saying. And if I don’t get what I want and
      I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself.” Later, Blago stated
      that the Senate seat “is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”




      NOVEMBER 4, 2008: Deputy Governor A spoke to Blago on the day of the Presidential
      election, and suggested putting together a list of things Blago would accept in exchange
      for the Senate seat. Blago said it “can’t be in writing.”

      Blago then talked about whether he could get an ambassadorship in exchange for the
      Senate seat.




      NOVEMBER 4, 2008: Blago talked to Harris about the potential vacant Senate seat. Blago
      said the “trick…is how do you conduct indirectly…a negotiation” for the Senate seat.
      Later, Blago compared his situation to a sports agent shopping a free agent out to various
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      teams, stating “how much are you offering, [Obama]? What are you offering, [Senate
      Candidate 2]?...Can always go to [Senate Candidate 3].” Blago said he’ll make a decision
      on the Senate seat “in good faith…but it is not coming for free… It’s got to be good stuff
      for the people of Illinois and good for me.” Blago then said, “[Obama], you want it? Fine.
      But it’s got to be good or I could always take [the Senate seat].”




      NOVEMBER 5, 2008: Blago asked Deputy Governor A about positions he could get for the
      Senate seat, like Secretary of Health and Human Services and ambassadorships.

      Deputy Governor A said the Secretary of Energy position “makes the most money.” He
      said it’s hard not to give it to a Texan, but Blago’s coal background might make it a
      possibility.




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      NOVEMBER 5, 2008: Blago asked Harris what he could get for the Senate seat, such as
      federal government positions. Blago asked if Obama could make him the head of a
      private foundation. He told Harris to do “homework,” on it “right away.” He asked if he
      could get a high-ranking position at the Red Cross. Harris said, “It’s got to be a group
      that’s dependent on Obama,” that a President probably couldn’t influence the Red Cross.

      Blago: “Look into all of those.”




      NOVEMBER 5, 2008: Blago talked to Harris and Deputy Governor A about private
      foundations where Blago might be able to get a position in exchange for the Senate Seat,
      especially those foundations “heavily dependent on federal aid,” and ones the White
      House would have the most “influence” on.

      Blago wanted to know the pay for each.




      NOVEMBER 5, 2008: Blago talked with Advisor A about the Senate seat, saying Obama
      can remove someone from a foundation and give the spot to him.

      Blago: “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for
      fuckin’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, I can always use it. I can parachute me there.”
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      NOVEMBER 6, 2008: Blago told Spokesman to leak a story to a particular Chicago Sun-
      Times columnist. The story would say Candidate 2 is in the running for the Senate seat.

      Blago said he wanted, “to send a message to Obama’s people,” but didn’t want it to look
      like it came from him.

      Later Blago and Spokesman went over the exact words that should be printed by the
      columnist, and arguments about why Candidate 2 made sense for the vacant Senate seat.

      The November 7, 2008 article uses the exact words and argument spoken between Blago
      and Spokesman about Candidate 2 during that recorded conversation.




      NOVEMBER 7, 2008: Blago talks to Advisor A about being willing to “trade” the Senate
      seat in exchange for the position of Secretary of Health and Human services in Obama’s
      cabinet.



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      NOVEMBER 7, 2008: Blago had a conference call with Harris and Advisor B, a consultant
      from Washington D.C. Blago explained if Obama appointed him as Secretary of Health
      and Human Services, then he would appoint Candidate 1 to the newly opened Senate
      seat.

      Harris: “We wanted our ask to be reasonable…rather than…make it look like some sort
      of selfish grab for a quid pro quo.”

      Blago said he needs to consider his family. He is “financially” hurting. Harris said they
      are considering what will help the “financial security” of the Blagojevich family and what
      will keep Blago “politically viable.”

      Blago: “I want to make money.”




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      Blago, Harris and Advisor B discussed a three-way deal. Harris commented that Blago
      was interested in a high-paying position with “Change to Win.” This organization is
      connected to Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

           1. The SEIU Official makes Blago head of Change to Win.

           2. Blago gives Senate seat to Candidate 1.

           3. In exchange, Obama could help Change to Win (with SEIU) on a national level.




      Advisor B asked why SEIU Official can’t just give Blago the job. Harris said Change to Win
      would want something from Obama for bringing Blago in, since someone was already in
      the position. Harris said this three-way deal would give Obama a “buffer so there is no
      obvious quid pro quo for [Candidate 1].”




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      Blago said for him to give up the governorship for the Change to Win position, it must pay
      a lot more than he is getting now. He says he wants to make $250,000-$300,000 on the
      board. Advisor B said they should use Obama’s wish to have Candidate 1 appointed to
      the Senate seat to their advantage to get the Change to Win position and salary. Advisor
      B agreed the three-way deal would be better than Blago appointing Candidate 2 to the
      Senate seat and continuing as Governor.




      NOVEMBER 8, 2008: Blago asked Harris if it was possible to also get a job for his wife in
      the Senate seat deal. He asked if his wife’s Series 7 license could place her in a firm in
      Washington or New York at a much better salary than she is making now. Blago asked if
      she could take a position at Change to Win until he was brought on.




      NOVEMBER 10, 2008: Blago, his wife, Harris, Governor’s attorney, and various DC based
      advisors including Advisor B, talked about the open Senate seat on a conference call. The
      participants joined on-and-off at different times. The call lasted around 2 hours. What
      follows are summaries of various parts of the call.

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      Blago said he wanted to find out how to:

           1) Make money
           2) Build financial security
           3) Be able to get back into politics later, if wanted.

      He mentioned the Senate seat, the new Presidential administration, and the strong
      contacts he has.

      He asked if there was anything he can do to make this work for both he and his wife, and
      his responsibilities as Governor.

      Blago suggested he could name himself to the open Senate seat to avoid impeachment by
      the state, because it was unlikely Obama would name him Secretary of Health and
      Human Services, or ambassador, because of all the negative publicity Blago was
      experiencing.




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      Blago asked what he can get from Obama for the Senate seat.

      He said his General Counsel asked, “Can Obama help in the private sector…where it
      wouldn’t be tied to him?...I mean, so it wouldn’t necessarily look like one for the other.”

      Blago’s wife said she is qualified to sit on corporate boards and has a background in real
      estate and appraisals.

      Blago asked if there was something that could be done with his wife’s series 7 license in
      this deal for the Senate seat. He said he is struggling and doesn’t want to be Governor
      for the next two years.




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      Blago said the consultants (on the call) are telling him to:

      “Suck it up” for two years and do nothing, and give the “mother-fucker (Obama) his
      senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.”

      Blago said he’ll put [Candidate 4 – the Deputy Governor of Illinois] in the seat “…before I
      just give fucking [Candidate 1] a fucking Senate seat and I don’t get anything.”

      Blago said he needs to find a way to take the “financial stress” off his family: that his
      wife is more qualified than [named] individual to sit on corporate boards.

      Blago: “The immediate challenge is how do we take some of the financial pressure off of
      our family.”

      Later on the call, Blago said if he didn’t get something back, he wouldn’t appoint
      Candidate 1. Harris said they could work out a three-way deal with SEIU and Obama.

           1. SEIU could help Obama with Blago’s appointment of Candidate 1
           2. Blago could be given the National Director of the Change to Win position
           3. SEIU would get something favorable from Obama in the future
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      One of Blago’s advisors said he liked it, but to be leery of promises for something 2 years
      from now.

      Blago’s wife said they would take the job now.

      Blago and others on the call talked about different ways Blago can “monetize”
      relationships he’s making as Governor to make money afterwards when he isn’t
      Governor.




      NOVEMBER 10, 2008: Blago and Advisor A talked about the open Senate seat. Blago
      asked if Obama could help get his wife on “paid corporate boards right now.” Advisor A
      said he “thinks they could” and that a President-elect can do almost anything he sets his
      mind to.” Blago states will appoint “[Candidate 1]…but if they feel they can do this and
      not fucking give me anything…then I’ll fucking go with [Candidate 5].”

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      Blago said if his wife could get on some boards and “pick up another 150 grand a year or
      whatever,” it would help Blago get through the next few years as Governor.




      NOVEMBER 10, 2008: Later, Blago and Advisor A discussed leaking another story to the
      same columnist, that he’s considering Candidate 5 for the appointment. This would send
      a message to Obama that there are options beyond Candidate 1.

      Advisor A agreed to call the columnist and leak the story that Blago had a “long,
      productive discussion” with Candidate 5.




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      NOVEMBER 11, 2008: Blago talked to Harris and suggested a 501(c)(4) organization (non-
      profit organization that can engage in politics/lobbying) and getting Warren Buffet or
      someone to help.

      Harris: “What, for you?”
      Blago: “Yeah.”

      Later on the call, Blago said if he appoints Candidate 4 and later it looks like Blago will be
      impeached he could “count on [Candidate 4] if things got hot to give [the seat] up and let
      me parachute over there.”

      Harris: “You can count on [Candidate 4] to do that.”

      Later, Blago said he knows that Obama wants Candidate 1 for the seat but “…they’re not
      willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.”




      NOVEMBER 11, 2008: Advisor A told Blago he will stay “on top” of getting the Candidate
      5 story leaked to the columnist. Blago again raised the idea of the non-profit
      organization and asked if “they” (Obama and his associates) can get Warren Buffet and
      others to put $10-12-15 million into it.

      Blago says when he is no longer Governor he could go over to the organization, that
      Candidate 6 (wealthy Illinois person) “could raise me money like that for a Senate seat.”

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      Blago: “If I get [Candidate 6] to do something like that, is it worth giving him the Senate
      seat?” Advisor A said it would be hard to put Candidate 6 in the seat. Blago said it
      would be better than putting Candidate 1 for nothing.

      Later on the call, Blago said Candidate 6 could “do it.” They talked about who might be
      close to Candidate 6 to talk with him about the issue, because Blago “didn’t want to be
      the one to ask for something like that.” Advisor A agreed to find someone close to the
      candidate.




      NOVEMBER 12, 2008: Blago told Harris that CNN is reporting Candidate 1 doesn’t want
      the seat. Harris said he thought it was a tactic.

      Blago raised the issue of the non-profit again, and that contributors can put “10 to 15
      million in it so I can advocate health care and other issues I care about and help them,
      while I stay as Governor, she’s (Candidate 1) a Senator.”

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      Blago said Obama can ask Warrant Buffet, Bill Gates, and others for money for the
      organization. Blago said he’ll ask [Candidate 6] to help fund it too. Harris said that
      funding it would be a lot easier for Obama than appointing Blago to a position.

      Blago: “They could say, ‘hey, we get [Candidate 1]. Let’s help this guy have a 501(c)(4)
      issue advocacy organization. Let’s fund it to the level that he’s asked for and then we’ll
      get [Candidate 1].”

      Blago said he’ll control the non-profit through a board of directors while he’s Governor
      and then a position in the organization when he leaves Office.




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      NOVEMBER 12, 2008: Advisor B tells Blago he likes the non-profit idea, but liked the
      Change to Win option better because, according to Advisor B, there would be fewer
      “fingerprints” on it by Obama because Change to Win already has a stream of revenue.
      Therefore, “you won’t have stories in four years that they bought you off.” Blago said he
      prefers the non-profit because he isn’t sure Change to Win will be around in 2 years when
      he leaves office.




      NOVEMBER 12, 2008: Blago explained the non-profit idea to one of his Washington D.C.
      based advisors and that “Obama gets these Warren Buffet types to fund it.” The advisor
      asks him if this is real, or just a way to help himself. Blago says it’s real but also gives him
      a place to go when he is no longer Governor. The advisor says he likes the Change to Win
      idea better, and that it’s more likely to work because it’s a step removed from Obama.




      NOVEMBER 12, 2008: Later, Blago talked to SEIU Official, who was in Washington D. C.
      A week before this call they met in person to discuss the seat, and Blago understood SEIU
      Official was an agent to discuss Candidate 1’s interest in the seat. During the call, Blago
      said he heard Obama wanted persons other than Candidate 1 to be considered.

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      The SEIU Official said he would find out if Candidate 1 wanted him to keep pushing her
      for the seat. Blago said that “one thing I’d be interested in,” is a non-profit organization.
      Blago explained the idea to him and said the non-profit could help “our new Senator
      [Candidate 1].”

      SEIU Official agreed to “put that flag up and see where it goes.”




      NOVEMBER 12, 2008: Blago told Advisor B the story about the meeting with the SEIU
      Official about the non-profit idea.




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      NOVEMBER 12, 2008: Blago told Harris his decision about the Senate seat will be based
      on 3 things in order of importance:

      Blago: “Our legal situation, our personal situation, my political situation. The decision,
      like every other one, needs to be based upon…on that. Legal. Personal. Political.”

      Harris: “Legal is the hardest one to satisfy.”

      Blago said his legal problems could be solved by naming himself to the Senate seat.




      NOVEMBER 13, 2008: Blago told Harris he wanted to be able to call Obama’s Advisor and
      tell him that “this has nothing to do with anything else we’re working on, but the
      Governor wants to put together a 501(c)(4)” and “can you guys help him…raise 10-15
      million.” Blago said he wanted ‘Obama’s Advisor” to get the word today,” and that when
      “he asks me for the Fifth CD thing I want it to be in his head.”


      (“Fifth CD thing” is believed to relate to a seat in the US House from the Illinois Fifth
      Congressional District. Prior calls show Blago and others were determining whether
      Blago could appoint an interim replacement until a special election for the seat could be
      held.)



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      NOVEMBER 13, 2008: Blago told Advisor A he wants the idea of the non-profit in
      Obama’s Advisor’s head, but not in connection with the Senate or congressional seat.

      Advisor A asked if the conversation about the non-profit with Obama’s Advisor is
      connected with anything else.

      Blago: “It’s unsaid. It’s unsaid.”




      NOVEMBER 13, 2008: Blago asked Advisor A to call Individual A to pitch the non-profit
      idea to Obama’s Advisor.”

      Advisor A: “While it’s not said, this is a play to put in play other things.”

      Blago: “Correct.”

      Advisor A: “Because we think there’s still some life in [Candidate 1] potentially?

      Blago: “Not so much her, but possibly her. But others.”



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      The last month, Blago has continued to talk about filling the open Senate seat. He has
      repeatedly discussed potential candidates, and their ability to benefit the state, as well as
      the personal and political benefits for himself and his family. These calls have included:




      DECEMBER 4, 2008: Blago told Advisor B he was giving Candidate 5 more thought,
      because if Blago ran for re-election Candidate 5 would raise money for his campaign.

      Blago said he might also “get some (money) up front, maybe” from Candidate 5 to ensure
      he would keep his promise.

      (In a recorded call on October 31, 2008, Blago described an earlier approach by an
      associate of Candidate 5: “We were approached ‘pay to play.’ That you know, he’d raise
      me 500 grand. An emissary [agent or messenger – UD] came. Then the other guy would raise
      a million, if I made him (Candidate 5) a Senator.”)



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      DECEMBER 4, 2008: Later, Blago told Fundraiser A that he was “elevating,” Candidate 5
      on the list. He said he might cut a deal with Candidate 5 that gave him something
      “tangible up front.” Blago said they were going to meet in the next few days. He also
      told Fundraiser A to reach out to an individual Blago wants to get campaign funds from
      (Individual D), and whom Blago thinks is close to Candidate 5.




      Blago also told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that Candidate 5 was a realistic candidate,
      but Blago was getting “a lot of pressure” not to appoint him, and that he had a problem
      with Candidate 5 making promises because he had a prior bad experience with him
      keeping his word.

      Blago said to say if Candidate 5 is going to be chosen, “Some of this stuff’s gotta start
      happening now…right now…and we gotta see it. You understand?”

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      Blago to Fundraiser A: “You gotta be careful how you express that and assume
      everybody’s listening, the whole world is listening. You hear me?”

      Blago then said to tell Individual D, if there is “tangible political support (campaign
      contributions) like you’ve said, start showing us now.”

      Fundraiser A said he will call the individual.
      Blago: “I would do it in person. I would not do it on the phone.”

      Blago said to communicate the “urgency” of the situation.




      DECEMBER 5, 2008: An article ran in the Chicago Tribune on the front page saying that
      Blago had been recorded in an ongoing criminal investigation.

      Blago called Fundraiser A and said to “undo your [Individual D] thing.” Fundraiser A
      agreed.


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      * ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, and JOHN HARRIS/Criminal Complaint*                                            Action




      DECEMBER 5, 2008: Blago and 3 others talked about moving money out of the Friends of
      Blagojevich campaign fund to avoid having it frozen, and considered prepaying the
      money to Blago’s criminal defense attorney with the understanding it would have to be
      donated again later if it wasn’t used.

      They discussed opening a new fundraising account called Citizens for Blagojevich with
      new donations.




      In the course of conversations over the last month, Blago has spent a lot of time deciding
      whether to appoint himself to the Senate seat, giving many reasons why he should,
      including these seven:

           1. Frustration at being “stuck” as governor
           2. A belief that if he is indicted as a Senator as opposed to a governor, he will have
              access to more resources.

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      * ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, and JOHN HARRIS/Criminal Complaint*                                                 Action

           3.   A desire to remake his image in case he runs for President in 2016
           4.   To avoid impeachment by the state of Illinois
           5.   To make corporate contacts that would be of value after leaving office
           6.   To help his wife get employment as a lobbyist
           7.   To up his fee for public speaking




      Based on the facts I’ve given here, I believe there is probably cause to believe:

           (a) Blago and Harris and others have conspired to commit crimes against the US,
               specifically to defraud the State of Illinois of honest services.

           (b) During a one-year period beginning January 1, 2008 and beyond, they have:

                   i.    received more than $10,000 in federal benefits
                  ii.    used corruption to try and get something of value, in this case, the firing of
                         Chicago Tribune editorial members responsible for negative articles about
                         Blago
                 iii.    Sought rewards for something worth $5,000 or more, such as millions of
                         dollars in State financial assistance (Wrigley Field)




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      * ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, and JOHN HARRIS/Criminal Complaint*                                              Action




      Because of all these things, it is requested that arrest warrants be issued.




                                                                                                END



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                    PEG_Blago Illinois GOV Criminal Charges 020510
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DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Moderate read (7-11 mins). Not sure what the Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich did wrong? Read the FBI complaint in plain English.