Blago lawyers up, might resign by Monday

posted at 12:04 pm on December 13, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Beleaguered by scandal and isolated after the resignation of his chief of staff and alleged partner in corruption, Governor Rod Blagojevich has seen his options rapidly decrease since his arrest last Tuesday.  The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Blagojevich may resign as early as Monday rather than try to fend off certain impeachment from the Illinois state legislature.  He’s not giving up on the legal front, however, as his selection of attorneys demonstrate:

Gov. Blagojevich will decide early next week — perhaps as early as Monday — whether he should resign, a source close to the governor told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“He was blindsided by this,” the source said. “He needs some time to digest what’s going on. He’s going to make his position clear shortly.”

Blindsided?  Perhaps, but if so, it only demonstrates his cluelessness.  Patrick Fitzgerald has run an investigation into corruption in Illinois politics for years, and while most people believe that Fitzgerald has focused on Chicago and Mayor Richard Daley, Blagojevich had to understand that Fitzgerald would take an interest in Springfield as well.  That’s what makes Blagojevich’s bald attempts at enriching himself and his wife through the sale of the Senate seat so mind-bogglingly stupid.

Blagojevich might be stupid, but he’s smart enough to hire some high-powered attorneys to defend him.  As Natasha Korecki and Chris Fusco report, his choice signals that there won’t be a confession in the offing:

Also Friday, Blagojevich retained the lawyer who defended R&B singer R. Kelly and disgraced media mogul Conrad Black to represent him in his criminal case.

Ed Genson, one of Chicago’s top criminal-defense attorneys, said he was assembling a team of lawyers to assist with the case. Genson typically doesn’t represent clients who plan to plead guilty.

Genson has a .500 record in these high-profile cases.  He managed to get an acquittal for Kelly even with a videotape that allegedly depicted Kelly and a 14-year-old girl having sex.  Black didn’t fare quite as well.  He wound up with a 78-month prison sentence and a $6.1 million restitution order.  Genson knows his way around media-blitz criminal cases, though, and he will spend a lot of Blagojevich’s money in attempting to keep the governor from following his predecessor into federal prison.

Some may wonder why Blagojevich just doesn’t cut a deal and try for lenient treatment.  He may still do that, but Blagojevich may not have much to offer other than himself.  A corrupt governor would be the top of the food chain in most instances, and John Harris’ abrupt resignation yesterday may indicate that Fitzgerald already has the big fish landed.  There may also be another reason.  Anyone reading that complaint will be left flabbergasted by Blagojevich’s arrogance — and that may keep him from understanding his odds in federal court against Fitzgerald.

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Chicago punks…………. showing their true metal.

…………….. once you peal the graft, greed, and corruption off of them, what is left?

Seven Percent Solution on December 13, 2008 at 8:01 PM

Wethal, here’s one such article

but also because she seemed perennially dissatisfied.

She was, White recalls, “quite possibly the most ambitious associate that I’ve ever seen.” She wanted significant responsibility right away and was not afraid to object if she wasn’t getting what she felt she deserved, he says.

Entelechy on December 13, 2008 at 8:14 PM

Was he the little boy in “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”? I am old what can I tell you.

Blago? I’m thinking more of a prep school version of Eddie Munster.

whitetop on December 13, 2008 at 8:17 PM

A very nice piece on Blago’s background by Micheal Barone

a capella on December 13, 2008 at 8:24 PM

The Obarfa Headquarters has begun sandbagging the doors and windows.

I think I saw Brian Williams, Katie Couric, Oprah, Tom Brokaw, Chrissy Matthews, and Babwa Wawa filling bags and passing them down a human chain.

Olbermann was encouraging them with a megaphone made up from curled up Time magazines (Obama on the cover of course).

It was easy enough to keep them in line…you could see the yellow line up their spines right through their carbon-less t-shirts.

ex-Democrat on December 13, 2008 at 8:57 PM

Blago? I’m thinking more of a prep school version of Eddie Munster.

whitetop on December 13, 2008 at 8:17 PM

If we’re very lucky, Blago may turn out to be our very best friend :)

JiangxiDad on December 13, 2008 at 9:23 PM


Ace of Spades has posted, that, there has been a
suspicous fire at Governor Sarah Palin’s Church,
over 1 million in damages?????????:)

canopfor on December 13, 2008 at 9:42 PM

A corrupt governor would be the top of the food chain in most instances

You are correct, The top of the food chain in Illinois is the mayor of Chicago. An aside, Genson is a mob lawyer. Many of his past clients were mob connected (Gambat). This city and State is a festering hole of corruption and it will not end.

cpddet on December 13, 2008 at 10:15 PM

a capella: Take a closer look at that Barone article. He admits to working for the Democrats at an earlier period in his career. He also expresses a certain admiration for Axelrod. Barone is also adding to the narrative that Blago is not just stupid but crazy.

The spinmeisters are protecting Obama with this meme.

Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation began several years ago with the Chicago nexus. Eventually the probes led to the governor’s office. I think that the revelations will lead to more surprises than we can imagine.

I posted over at the other thread that the UK TimesOnline has a story in its Sunday edition about these evolving events. Below are two paragraphs in it that I think are telling in terms of the publication’s recognition of a double standard:

Obama once joked at a charity “roast” that the notoriously crude Emanuel – who was elected to Congress in Blagojevich’s old seat – was rendered “practically mute” when he lost his middle finger in an accident.

“When you are Rahm Emanuel and you use the f-word all the time, it is supposed to be cute and amusing,” Norquist said. “When the governor of Illinois gets caught, people say, ‘Oh, he’s crazy’, and the proof that he is crazy is that he talks like Rahm Emanuel.”

onlineanalyst on December 13, 2008 at 10:55 PM

The Illinois Republicans have set up a website called, Friends of Blago. It seems to be designed to gather names to support a special election rather than an appointed senator.

There’s not much there yet, but they have a big spider web up and it looks as if they’re going to be adding pictures throughout the web for background on Blago’s “friends”.

INC on December 13, 2008 at 11:14 PM

a capella: Take a closer look at that Barone article. He admits to working for the Democrats at an earlier period in his career. He also expresses a certain admiration for Axelrod. Barone is also adding to the narrative that Blago is not just stupid but crazy.

The spinmeisters are protecting Obama with this meme.

onlineanalyst on December 13, 2008 at 10:55 PM

Yes, I read that. I was more interested in the chronology of Blago’s career. I don’t think the “crazy” meme will work. Too many skeletons rattling around in other closets, plus the thing has legs now and can’t be deep sixed. Barone’s past sins don’t bother me as long as he gives me facts.

a capella on December 13, 2008 at 11:26 PM

a capella, that was a great link. Thanks.

And a stupid man (or woman) in high political office can be very dangerous to all concerned. I have long said that as a political operative I would prefer a smart opponent to a stupid opponent. If you’re pretty smart yourself, you should be able to figure out what another pretty smart person will do. But whether you’re smart or stupid, it’s hard to figure out what a stupid person will do. That’s even more true when the stupid politician is your political ally. Stupid people do all sorts of things that are against their own interests. Like tell the press on Monday that you wouldn’t mind being taped, even when (as we learned on Tuesday) that you’ve been saying all kinds of things that you should have known could easily send you to the slammer.

The more interesting case, and a story for another day, is how Barack Obama rose despite being neither the son nor the son-in-law of somebody important in Chicago; it says something about his impressive talents that he was able to do so. But then it also didn’t hurt that his wife Michelle Robinson Obama’s father was a Democratic precinct committeeman. There are many precincts in each of the city’s 50 wards, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Mayor Richard M. Daley knows at least half of the precinct committeemen by name at any given time. Certainly his father did. And Michelle Obama, after her stint at the Sidley & Austin law firm, got a job in the current Mayor Daley’s office. He knew where she came from.

All of which is an illustration of my political adage: Nothing is free in politics, but there is some question as to when you pay the price. Obama has profited greatly from his interactions with the Chicago civic establishment. Now he is paying a price.

Entelechy on December 13, 2008 at 11:46 PM

The Rahm/obama gang is trying very hard to get all the doggie poopoo off their shoes but the smell lingers. He is a marked and very tainted “historic” president-elect.

wepeople on December 14, 2008 at 8:37 AM

Rahm will be very tainted by this. will he resign? maybe. after all, he hasn’t resigned his congressional seat, so he has a job elsewhere.

kelley in virginia on December 14, 2008 at 8:57 AM

ahhh and Obamas camp is sealing the lips. Get used to it thats all we’re going to see for a while.

johnnyU on December 14, 2008 at 12:00 PM