A Rezko plea deal?

Ed Waage
The CBS TV affiliate in Chicago is speculating that Tony Rezko may try to cut a deal with prosecutors in his ongoing corruption trial. If so, it could spell trouble for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and possibly even Barack Obama. The defense has weakened prosecution witness Stuart Levine, who agreed to testify in exchange for a reduced sentence. Levine was sometimes contradictory and Levine also admitted to using drugs. However, the last minute inclusion of Ali Ata as a prosecution witness may have bolstered the prosecution's case.

The prosecution is preparing to rest its case as the politically charged corruption trial of Antoin "Tony" Rezko rolls toward its climax.

There's speculation Friday that Rezko could be ready to cut a deal....

"After Stuart Levine, Tony Rezko had a lot to be thankful for, and his lawyers did a great job," said CBS 2 legal analyst Stuart Levine [probably meant Irv Miller]. "Then comes Ali Ata, the last major witness and I think the roller coaster is going the other way right now. He was a tremendous witness for the government."

Rezko was central to much of the "pay for play"  in Illinois politics under Gov. Blagojevich. If Rezko and US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald agree to a plea bargain in exchange for Rezko's testimony for the government, it would certainly bolster Fitzgerald's case for an indictment of various elected officials, especially the governor.

It could also hurt Barack Obama since Rezko was instrumental in helping Obama get his start in Illinois politics and Rezko would surely know if Obama were involved in any wrongdoing. Rezko was a major fundraiser for Obama and also helped Obama close the deal on Obama's $1.65 million home by purchasing an adjoining strip of land that the sellers insisted be part of the deal.

Even if Obama did nothing wrong, Rezko's testimony could still be a distraction for Obama.

The trial should wrap up soon with closing arguments coming on May 12.

Rosslyn Smith adds:

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy than blow dry Blagojevich.  I'll always remember the first time I saw him in person.   I was walking home from work around 6:30 on a summer night, down Washington Street about a block away from City Hall.  Then State Rep Blagojevich had just parked in a clearly marked no parking zone.  He was hustling around to the other side of the car to open the door for his political patron and father in law, the extremely powerful Alderman Dick Mell.  And you just know they never got a ticket.

In Chicago the rules are only for the little people to obey.
The CBS TV affiliate in Chicago is speculating that Tony Rezko may try to cut a deal with prosecutors in his ongoing corruption trial. If so, it could spell trouble for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and possibly even Barack Obama. The defense has weakened prosecution witness Stuart Levine, who agreed to testify in exchange for a reduced sentence. Levine was sometimes contradictory and Levine also admitted to using drugs. However, the last minute inclusion of Ali Ata as a prosecution witness may have bolstered the prosecution's case.

The prosecution is preparing to rest its case as the politically charged corruption trial of Antoin "Tony" Rezko rolls toward its climax.

There's speculation Friday that Rezko could be ready to cut a deal....

"After Stuart Levine, Tony Rezko had a lot to be thankful for, and his lawyers did a great job," said CBS 2 legal analyst Stuart Levine [probably meant Irv Miller]. "Then comes Ali Ata, the last major witness and I think the roller coaster is going the other way right now. He was a tremendous witness for the government."

Rezko was central to much of the "pay for play"  in Illinois politics under Gov. Blagojevich. If Rezko and US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald agree to a plea bargain in exchange for Rezko's testimony for the government, it would certainly bolster Fitzgerald's case for an indictment of various elected officials, especially the governor.

It could also hurt Barack Obama since Rezko was instrumental in helping Obama get his start in Illinois politics and Rezko would surely know if Obama were involved in any wrongdoing. Rezko was a major fundraiser for Obama and also helped Obama close the deal on Obama's $1.65 million home by purchasing an adjoining strip of land that the sellers insisted be part of the deal.

Even if Obama did nothing wrong, Rezko's testimony could still be a distraction for Obama.

The trial should wrap up soon with closing arguments coming on May 12.

Rosslyn Smith adds:

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy than blow dry Blagojevich.  I'll always remember the first time I saw him in person.   I was walking home from work around 6:30 on a summer night, down Washington Street about a block away from City Hall.  Then State Rep Blagojevich had just parked in a clearly marked no parking zone.  He was hustling around to the other side of the car to open the door for his political patron and father in law, the extremely powerful Alderman Dick Mell.  And you just know they never got a ticket.

In Chicago the rules are only for the little people to obey.