Tuesday, December 9, 2008
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the same man who handled the case against Governor Ryan, has now had Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois arrested. Also arrested and released was his chief of staff John Harris (See Chicago Tribune here). A press release of the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois states that:
"arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges alleging that they and others are engaging in ongoing criminal activity: conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leveraging his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator; threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical of Blagojevich; and to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions – both historically and now in a push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009."
The Criminal Complaint alleges violations of the mail and wire fraud statute using the intangible right to honest services for allegations of conspiracy under section 1349. There is also a claim under section 666 of title 18 of the federal criminal code. Commentary to follow.
(esp)(blogging from Atlanta)