Patrick Fitzgerald, Still The Prosecutor's Prosecutor?

Can we be confident that the man who prosecuted the Valerie Plame ‘leak’ incident, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, will get to the bottom of the bribery and racketeering scandal surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich?

Patrick Fitzgerald had the reputation of being non-political and determined to investigate everything. To let the investigation take him where it will. That’s what he said he did in the Plame case (where he never had to answer why nobody was charged with the leak). This sounds good, but look at his record.

In the Plame fiasco, Fitzgerald knew early on, like within the first week or two, just who it was that leaked Valerie Plame’s identity to reporter Robert Novak. It was, in fact, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. But Fitzgerald never charged Armitage with anything. Instead, Fitzgerald kept the investigation going, looking for something else. Perhaps looking for a chance to pin something on the Bush administration. He kept it up for over two years, until he was finally successful in finding I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby guilty of lying to investigators. Apparently, there was no crime committed until after his investigation began. Libby’s memory was not the same as Chris Matthews’ memory, but that was enough to convict him. Fitzgerald was successful in getting someone in the Bush administration on a process crime. He was determined alright.

That’s why I found it suspicious that Fitzgerald would drop the hammer on Blagojevich after only six weeks, and, before the senate seat issue had been ‘settled.’ I also found it odd, in his news conference today, that he would say that prosecutors were making “no allegations” that Obama was aware of any scheming. Why was it necessary to even say that when it was Blagojevich who was being investigated, not Obama? He made no such statement in the Plame investigation. So much for acting non-political.

Although I can allow the accuracy of his statement, that Obama didn’t know about Blago’s motivations and requests, I can’t allow that Obama does not know how Chicago politics work. Surely Fitzgerald knew this as well. Question is, what might Fitzgerald have found if he let his investigation continue before bringing the ‘crime spree’ to a halt this morning? The object here was getting payola for a senate seat appointment. And also withholding State funds from Tribune Co. unless he got payola for it. Pretty juicy stuff. So what happened to Fitzgerald’s determination to see where the investigation would take him? It appears that he saw an opportunity to save Obama’s butt, and did, by making the arrest when he did. Thereby eliminating the opportunity for any possible involvement by Obama or his administration.

Fitzgerald has exculpatory evidence where Obama is concerned. Making a good, safe place for him to end it. Blagojevich himself, in taped conversations, again cited by prosecutors, suggested that Obama wouldn’t be helpful to him. Even if the governor was to appoint a candidate favored by the Obama team, Blagojevich said, “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation.”

And where is Fitzgerald’s investigatory curiosity with the public record where Obama is concerned? Like when his top adviser David Axelrod told Fox News Chicago on Nov. 23: “I know he’s talked to the governor, and there are a whole range of names, many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them.” Does that sound like something he just made up, like Hillary’s account of landing in a war zone under enemy fire?

Oh well. Not to worry about that. Because today, Dec. 9, Axelrod issued a statement saying: “I was mistaken. … They did not then or at any time discuss the subject.”

There is no curiosity to know if he was lying then, or is lying now? Can you say ‘Scooter Libby?’

Someone talked about it. From the wiretap, Blago said ‘they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation.’ Are we to believe that that was made up too, when he didn’t know he was being wiretapped? Fitzgerald has his man. That settles it, doesn’t it?

link: Charges claim Illinois Governor Blagojevich sought to sell Obama’s Senate seat

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