Andy Martin Asks for Grand Jury Probe of Barack Obama
ANTHONY R. MARTIN,J.D.
Professor of Law (Adj.)
30 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611-4723
Tel. (312) 440-4124
Fax (312) 440-4125
November 16, 2006
Mr. Edward Nucci
Public Integrity Section
U. S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20530-0001
With copy to:
SAC Robert D. Grant
FBI – Chicago
2111 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60606
Via fax (312) 829-5172
Re: Possible criminal investigation of
U. S. Senator Barack Obama
Dear Mr. Nucci:
I am writing to you to suggest a possible criminal investigation of U. S. senator Barack Obama.
I have been engaged in fighting official corruption in Illinois since I was a law student at the University of Illinois, over forty (40) years.
I am in the process of organizing I-CAN (Illinois-Corruption Action Now) to continue the fight against corruption. I believe the modern remnants of the Chicago Crime Syndicate continue to seek to penetrate legitimate state offices and businesses. I have previously filed a complaint directing your attention to very suspicious links involving tens of millions of dollars in questionable “loans” between State Treasurer-elect Alexi Giannoulias’ Broadway Bank and an organized crime figure.
Mr. Tony Rezko is under indictment in Illinois for seeking to extort money from potential state vendors. Rezko is a close associate of Governor Rod Blagojevich and Rezko has done “real estate business” with Blagojevich’s wife, Patti Blagojevich.
Corruption, of course, involves two different approaches: (i) extorting/taking money from people, and (ii) paying money or giving tangible benefits to public officials to obtain access or influence. Sometimes people buy influence for an immediate project or need, and sometimes they just buy influence to bank it or to project the aura of access and influence in their business dealings. My complaint against Senator Obama falls into the second category.
Before being elected to the U. S. Senate, Mr. Obama served in the Illinois state senate. The Illinois senate has been a cesspool of corruption for decades. Back in the 1960’s they censured a member, Senator Paul Simon (then serving as a state senator), for being too honest and exposing senate corruption. Matters have not changed much.
Mr. Obama was well aware of the culture and climate of corruption when he began his business dealings with Mr. Rezko.
Reduced to its essentials, Obama and Rezko engaged in a structured real estate transaction where they coordinated the purchases of adjacent parcels of real estate. Rezko claims he paid “full market price” and Obama apparently received a “discount” of several hundred thousand dollars for his parcel. Rezko then improved his parcel to benefit Obama.
Obama recently said these related and structured transactions were a “mistake.” With all due respect I believe they were a federal crime and constituted a conspiracy.
I believe a grand jury could find a pattern of criminal activity. Instead of handing cash to Obama, Rezko handed Obama a preferential price for property. This is the same form of “honest graft” and preferential treatment that sent former Illinois Governor Otto Kerner to jail over 30 years ago, see United States v. Isaacs, 493 F.2d 1124 (7th Cir. 1974).
Taken in isolation, the Obama episode might be explainable, but I doubt it. Why would Rezko be buying land next to Obama and coordinating his actions with Obama if not to confer a benefit on Obama? Why?
More importantly, there appears to be a pattern of similar influence peddling by Mr. Rezko. The Chicago Sun-Times recently reported that Mr. Rezko, around the same general period he was wheeling with Obama, also provided a preferential price for a property purchase by U. S. Representative Luis Gutierrez. There is a pattern here. Instead of transferring cash to buy influence, Rezko was engaging in structured property transactions and preferential treatment of public officials to confer significant financial benefits on them, far above the legal limits of any legitimate political contribution permitted by federal law.
Most respectfully, I would urge you to consider allowing a grand jury to examine this series of suspicious transactions. I am sending a letter to the foreperson of the grand jury, through the U. S. Attorney’s office, seeking to testify as an expert witness in this matter if the grand jury wishes to pursue this investigation.Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.