Fitzgerald asks for extension on indictments in Blago probe

posted at 2:25 pm on December 31, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Patrick Fitzgerald has asked the federal court for a 90-day extension on seeking indictments against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  That could be seen as an indication that Fitzgerald hasn’t found enough evidence to gain an indictment yet, but Fitzgerald’s motion makes it sound as if he’s having the opposite problem:

In the motion filed Wednesday, prosecutors ask for more time because “multiple witnesses” have come forward in recent weeks and investigators have to review “thousands of intercepted phone calls.”

Normally, prosecutors would have to have indictments ready within 30 days of filing a complaint.  Blagojevich got arrested on December 9th, which would have given Fitzgerald only until January 7th to get the grand jury to indict him.  Given the holidays, that would have been tough enough, but a flood of witnesses will make sifting through the information even harder for the panel. If he doesn’t get the extension, Fitzgerald can press for at least one indictment and have the grand jury continue its work.

The claim that investigators have “thousands of intercepted phone calls” to peruse should have Illinois politicians hiring every available attorney in Chicago and Springfield.  The scope of Fitzgerald’s probe sounds much larger than first thought. (via Ben Smith)


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Oh yeah I need some more popcorn!

grapeknutz on December 31, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Keep looking Fitzerald. Dig under every rock for all involved. Boy, 09 should be fun!
L

letget on December 31, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Obama springs into action, says: “call me if you need anything.”

jeff_from_mpls on December 31, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Hrm…how big of a bucket of popcorn am I going to need for this full-length feature? Comedy? Drama? Action? Thriller? All of the above?

gryphon202 on December 31, 2008 at 2:34 PM

The political process must come before Fitz’s investigation, imo

lodge on December 31, 2008 at 2:34 PM

This is all part of the economic recovery plan. The lawyers in elected office see to it that all lawyers not in elected office are fully employed and let the money trickle down from there.

WashJeff on December 31, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Fitz has been investigating Blago for well over three years (during that time, Barack saw fit to endorse him), there may very well be a treasure trove of data in his office.

The possibility of such a trove should be leaving puddles under the seats of the general assembly, and rightly so.

Keep in mind, these folks are not terribly bright.

yo on December 31, 2008 at 2:35 PM

I hope Fitzgerald isn’t taking the “Job Security” route and burning the midnight oil trying to keep Osama Obama’s name off the indictment list while still managing to get Blags….

MrScribbler on December 31, 2008 at 2:35 PM

Finally, a scandall probe that doesn’t involve double entendres.

Laura in Maryland on December 31, 2008 at 2:35 PM

And why was it, exactly, that the Democrats moved their party headquarters to Chicago? I bet there were some interesting “negotiations” about that as well….

NeighborhoodCatLady on December 31, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Ed puts too much faith in Fitz and sounds like Fitz jumped the gun and can’t make a case.

Topsecretk9 on December 31, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Here’s hoping Chicago goes from the third most populous city in the country to a ghost town in 90 days.

James on December 31, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Hrm…how big of a bucket of popcorn am I going to need for this full-length feature? Comedy? Drama? Action? Thriller? All of the above?

gryphon202 on December 31, 2008 at 2:34 PM

1: Is there a local Scouts Troop near you? The Scouts sell some realy good popcorn.
2: All of the Above…

Red State State of Mind on December 31, 2008 at 2:38 PM

I imagine there are a lot of “Is my client on the wiretaps, and if so, can we cut a deal/get immunity?” phone calls to the USAtty right now.

Wethal on December 31, 2008 at 2:38 PM

ie, he doesn’t have the evidence.

Topsecretk9 on December 31, 2008 at 2:38 PM

The mutha lode. 99.999% of Democrats are crooks, liars and cheats, so it’s about time some chickens are roostin’!

kirkill on December 31, 2008 at 2:38 PM

Topsecretk9 on December 31, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Fitz had to jump because the Chicago Tribune leaked about the wiretaps.

Wethal on December 31, 2008 at 2:39 PM

Free Blago!

lodge on December 31, 2008 at 2:39 PM

In the motion filed Wednesday, prosecutors ask for more time because “multiple witnesses” have come forward in recent weeks and investigators have to review “thousands of intercepted phone calls.”

These sound like obscure scare tactics. I don’t think Fitzy has the goods yet. He’s trolling for weak-kneed dirty Dems.

fogw on December 31, 2008 at 2:40 PM

And why was it, exactly, that the Democrats moved their party headquarters to Chicago? I bet there were some interesting “negotiations” about that as well….

NeighborhoodCatLady on December 31, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Oooh, good reminder! I forgot all about that. Yes indeed, Obama’s first decision was to stand on Blago’s turf, at Blago’s side and say, “of all places, this is where I want the Democrat party to be.”

Painful.

jeff_from_mpls on December 31, 2008 at 2:41 PM

Could one hope that Rezko or Patty Blago handled the real estate negotiations for the Dem headquartes in Chicago?

Wethal on December 31, 2008 at 2:45 PM

And to think we laughed at the Russians!

grapeknutz on December 31, 2008 at 2:47 PM

We’ve got the popcorn, the show has a “cast of thousands”, but where’s the theme music? Suggestions anyone?

Laura in Maryland on December 31, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Hey Ed, can we get a little popcorn bucket icon next to all the Blago-drama posts? Something to give us a little ‘popcorn alert’?

brooklynlou on December 31, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Good night folks!!! Barack Obama has left the building!!

Wow. Who knew the dems would fold up like a cheap card table before inauguration day? This scandal starts in Chicago, and leads all the way to capital hill. I thought it was impossible for crap to run up hill, but the dems have defied physics, and proven that you CAN lose by winning.

portlandon on December 31, 2008 at 2:49 PM

so its about time some chickens are roostin’!

kirkill on Dec 31,2008 at 2:38PM.

kirkill: Here! Here! kirkill I agree,send those roostin
chickens straight to the big house and fry them
good on ‘Ole Sparky’! haha:)

canopfor on December 31, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Fitz has won his last 24 cases, I’m sure he knows what he is doing.

Firebird on December 31, 2008 at 2:51 PM

but where’s the theme music? Suggestions anyone?

How about “Yakety Sax” also known as the theme song to
“The Benny Hill Show”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK6TXMsvgQg

portlandon on December 31, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Blago’s response:

“You wanna bleepin’ indict me? Then bleepin’ indict me! I’m gonna get a bleepin’ book deal outta this, and that’s a bleepin’ valuable thing. You bleepin’ motherbleeper.”

So apparently everyone in Illinois knew that Blago was dirty, and yet Dear Leader sent his emissary to the Governor, unaware that there might be some dirty dealing. That story and a quarter will get you a steaming hot cup of nothing.

rbj on December 31, 2008 at 2:52 PM

It’s like getting a present everytime you take a look at HA! I’m kind of sorry tomorrow’s a holiday….There’s bound to be a lull in my soap opera. I think I’ll call it, “All my Chicago Democrats” or maybe “Day’s of our Democrats”, or how about, “Dumb and the Desperate”.

anniekc on December 31, 2008 at 2:55 PM

Hrm…how big of a bucket of popcorn am I going to need for this full-length feature? Comedy? Drama? Action? Thriller? All of the above?

gryphon202 on December 31, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Thramedaction

thomasaur on December 31, 2008 at 2:55 PM

Mr.Smithers

Ah,Mr.Burns,good news,the Blago soap opera is going to
be extended!

Mr Burns: Excellent!(Snark!).

canopfor on December 31, 2008 at 2:57 PM

but where’s the theme music? Suggestions anyone?

How about “Yakety Sax” also known as the theme song to“The Benny Hill Show”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK6TXMsvgQg

portlandon on December 31, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Good Call. I give it an 8.

Laura in Maryland on December 31, 2008 at 2:59 PM

Zippidy Doo Dah!

Mason on December 31, 2008 at 2:59 PM

but where’s the theme music?

Laura in Marlyland on Dec 31,2008 at 2:48PM.

Laura in Marlyland:

Me thinks,the ‘Godfather’,with a solo violin would be nice!

canopfor on December 31, 2008 at 3:05 PM

Fitz will be fired by Obama on Jan 20. Thus, he won’t be able to continue his work anyway. Any replacement will be a patsy.

indythinker on December 31, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Wow. Who knew the dems would fold up like a cheap card table before inauguration day? This scandal starts in Chicago, and leads all the way to capital hill. I thought it was impossible for crap to run up hill, but the dems have defied physics, and proven that you CAN lose by winning.

portlandon, there’s this little nagging piece of me that thinks that this whole Illinois drama was concocted by Obama or his intermediaries. See, you don’t have to repay political favors if the politicians you owe favors to are in jail …

brooklynlou on December 31, 2008 at 3:07 PM

I bet there are a lot of Chicago Democrats who go to bed at night with the name Skooter Libby echoing in their brains.

Stephen Macklin on December 31, 2008 at 3:10 PM

I gotta say, I’m starting to love Blago. His f-you yesterday to the Democratic party who hung him out to dry was priceless.
In a panic to preserve PEBO, they excoriated Blago, rushed to absolve their man and pissed off Blago.

Well, he ain’t going down quietly. I say good for him. Make them prove it all, make them bring witnesses to court, make them release all the audio they have, make them parade every rotten politician from the demorat party in Chicago.

Yep, I do love this guy. So, much for utopia in Obamaland. This guy is mired in dirt before he even starts.

Jvette on December 31, 2008 at 3:11 PM

Fitz will be fired by Obama on Jan 20. Thus, he won’t be able to continue his work anyway. Any replacement will be a patsy.

indythinker on December 31, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Ordinarily, I would agree with you on this, but I think it’s gotten out of control- I don’t know how he can do this without a huge collective eyebrow lift by America.

anniekc on December 31, 2008 at 3:14 PM

Laura in Maryland on December 31, 2008 at 2:48 PM

I think the theme music should be “Send in the Clowns.”

Too late, they’re here.

kingsjester on December 31, 2008 at 3:16 PM

Have to get Obama sworn in first….then if there is any blow back it can’t touch him for four years or more.

patrick neid on December 31, 2008 at 3:18 PM

I don’t know how he can do this without a huge collective eyebrow lift by America.

anniekc on December 31, 2008 at 3:14 PM

Do you mean that we’re all going to look like ‘Stretch’ Pelosi? ahhhhhhhh!!!!!

thomasaur on December 31, 2008 at 3:18 PM

Me thinks,the ‘Godfather’,with a solo violin would be nice!

canopfor on December 31, 2008 at 3:05 PM

…played to a close-up on Obama??? I like it.

Laura in Maryland on December 31, 2008 at 3:24 PM

Pardon Blago Bush!…. Minnesota next door!

try again later on December 31, 2008 at 3:24 PM

Do you mean that we’re all going to look like ‘Stretch’ Pelosi? ahhhhhhhh!!!!!

thomasaur on December 31, 2008 at 3:18 PM

Either that, or be “willing to suspend our disbelief”

anniekc on December 31, 2008 at 3:25 PM

I think the theme music should be “Send in the Clowns.”

Too late, they’re here.

kingsjester on December 31, 2008 at 3:16 PM

LOLAMEP!

And kingsjester takes the lead!

Laura in Maryland on December 31, 2008 at 3:25 PM

“Multiple Witnesses” Sounds like a lot of chilly gusts are blowing through the Windy City. The Democrats might not be able to blow enough hot air to save themselves from the chill factor.

Done That on December 31, 2008 at 3:31 PM

Perhaps conventional wisdom is wrong and Fitz DID lose half his case when the Trib. broke its pledge not to run with the Blago story. The Chicago Tribune has a history of pulling punches and running stories that place Obama in the best possible light. By running the Blago story the Trib pins the tail on only ONE donkey, Blago and limits the blow back on Obama.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/12/14/the-real-story-behind-the-rushed-blagojevich-bust-how-the-feds-are-frustrated-by-losing-maybe-half-of-their-case/

Don’t hold your breath about how “much” evidence Fitz has on Blago. How strong was the evidence against Scooter? How long did that take? Did he ever even depose Armitage?

Please. Fitz is a legend, in his own mind.

Angry Dumbo on December 31, 2008 at 3:37 PM

I hope he’s cutting a wide swath through the forest of Chicago corruption.

I fear he’s stalling for time, and realizing he really doesn’t have the goods to make this stick against Blago.

Time will tell.

cs89 on December 31, 2008 at 3:57 PM

As to music, I vaguely recall some hip-hop tune with the refrain “It wasn’t me…”

cs89 on December 31, 2008 at 4:02 PM

Obama springs into action, says: “call me if you need anything.” “Fitz, you’re fired.”
jeff_from_mpls on December 31, 2008 at 2:33 PM

BacaDog on December 31, 2008 at 4:25 PM

gryphon202 on December 31, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Comedy, definitely comedy. I’ll go with Rush on that.

ttime500 on December 31, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Awesome news! “Blago”, the pilot, has been picked up for a 12 weeks run, with a second season nearly a certainty. I’m betting this one makes Whitewater look like a rinky dink Arkansas real estate scam.

I’m selling popcorn futures at $100/bushel. Do I have any takers?

Happy New Year, ya’ll. It’s 75 and perfect here in the Valley of the Sun. Read em and weep!

DrW on December 31, 2008 at 4:28 PM

I think the music should be the theme from that classic Saturday morning drama series “Beany and Cecil”

http://www.televisiontunes.com/Beany_and_Cecil.html

Has just the right feel to it…….

mredly on December 31, 2008 at 4:41 PM

It will be truly enlightening if we can find out what the self agrandizing, “Live Shot” Fitzgerald is really up to.
Job Security,
Senate Post
AG’s Job
Who knows

Amazed on December 31, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Blago is a public relations genius.

Entelechy on December 31, 2008 at 5:26 PM

The hay day of the Chicago criminal bar was when Capone had his hooks into City Hall. However, Chicago continues to have a good market for defense lawyers and there must still be some good ones left.

burt on December 31, 2008 at 5:30 PM

I still think Fitzgerald’s real quarry is Richie Daley.

Mr. D on December 31, 2008 at 5:30 PM

His witnesses are going wobbly after the death threats

faraway on December 31, 2008 at 5:37 PM

I still think Fitzgerald’s real quarry is Richie Daley.

Mr. D on December 31, 2008 at 5:30 PM

I think you’re right and most of us in Chicago hope you’re right.

Knucklehead on December 31, 2008 at 5:48 PM

One thing we know for sure.

Not a single one of those thousands of phone calls implicates Obama in any way, shape or manner.

Nosirreebob. He’s clean as a whistle.

notagool on December 31, 2008 at 6:05 PM

sounds like Fitz jumped the gun and can’t make a case.

It is going to take a lot more work to get indictments now that the tape recorders were shut off and the story leaked at the first syllabel of “Obama”.

drunyan8315 on December 31, 2008 at 6:05 PM

Fitz will be fired by Obama on Jan 20. Thus, he won’t be able to continue his work anyway. Any replacement will be a patsy.

indythinker on December 31, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Would a 13-day extension be enough? The Big O wouldn’t let Fitz indict him, would he?

Steve Z on December 31, 2008 at 6:08 PM

Fitz will be fired by Obama on Jan 20. Thus, he won’t be able to continue his work anyway. Any replacement will be a patsy.

indythinker on December 31, 2008 at 3:06 PM

What does Obama care if America lifts its eyebrows? He’s untouchable until at least 2011, IF the Republicans can take back Congress.

It’s all about the O.

Steve Z on December 31, 2008 at 6:10 PM

prosecutors ask for more time because “multiple witnesses” have come forward in recent weeks

The Blagosphere is growing.

jgapinoy on December 31, 2008 at 7:08 PM

To imagine that Obama is uninvolved in the Chicago corruption one would have to “suspend disbelief” to the level of insane delusion. Once he takes the oath of office and is inaugurated he is immune from prosecution and can direct the investigation by puting his minions into the directing roles. That is, unless there is an impeachment, fat chance. Who thinks the media would be anything but supportive of Obama’s thwarting the scurrilous accusations from the “right wing conspiracy”.

davo on December 31, 2008 at 7:54 PM

Obama to Blago

“JUST WHEN I THINK I’M OUT THEY PULL ME BACK IN!’

Kevin in Southern Illinois on December 31, 2008 at 8:23 PM

Fitz will be fired by Obama on Jan 20. Thus, he won’t be able to continue his work anyway. Any replacement will be a patsy.

indythinker on December 31, 2008 at 3:06 PM
Would a 13-day extension be enough? The Big O wouldn’t let Fitz indict him, would he?

Steve Z on December 31, 2008 at 6:08 PM

Fitz oughta do a “Sandy Pants Berger” and accidentally take home a whole lot of work prior to Jan 20th, and then accidentally run it through the copier and accidentally stick those copies away for safekeeping.

“Oh gee, I didn’t realize that all of those audio interecepts ended up getting copied to those one terabyte drives…. Funny how my attorney ended up with instructions to broadcast all of it if I get Ron Browned”

Wonder if Fitz will write a book after he gets fired.

bullseye on January 1, 2009 at 9:02 AM

Fitz will be “reassigned” by Obama and Blago will be found to have committed suicide by shooting himself three times in the back of the head with a shot gun…

sabbott on January 1, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Just waiting for Blago to announce that he’s investigated himself and has found himself innocent of all charges just like Obama and Rahm did. Case closed!

Buzzy on January 1, 2009 at 6:03 PM