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Andy Martin asks Chicago federal judge to release full and unedited Blagojevich phone tapes

January 5, 2009

Andy Martin says proposed partial edited release of Blagojevich FBI tapes raises serious constitutional problems. Martin says that partial and selective release of FBI tapes could prejudice a prosecution of Blagojevich and raise doubts about the impartiality of the judicial process. Martin asks Chief Judge James Holderman to release all Blago FBI tapes since November 4, 2008. Martin also raises the issue of U. S. Senator Harry Reid’s “racist” phone call to Blagojevich.

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Andy Martin, J. D.
Professor of Law (Adj.)
Executive Editor

January 5, 2008

Hon Patrick Fitzgerald
United States Attorney
219 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604
via fax (312) 353-2067

Re: U. S. v. Blagojevich, 08 CR 1010

Dear U. S. Attorney Fitzgerald:

As a young law student at the University of Illinois over forty years ago I began to fight political and governmental corruption in Illinois and Chicago government. It has not been a pleasant task. Over the ensuing decades we have had some spectacular results and received retaliation in kind. Therefore, as a threshold issue I applaud the efforts of your office and the dedicated AUSA’s who are pursuing political corruption.

As a second threshold issue, I have no relationship with Governor Blagojevich. I am speaking solely for myself.

I am a likely candidate for the senate, if a vacancy is declared and a special election is ordered, and possibly in the 2010 general primary and general election. On the other hand, I believe General Burris’ appointment was completely legal and constitutional, and that he should be seated as an interim senator until 2010. I do not see my role as involving a conflict of interest with your own proceedings.

One of the unpleasant aspects of independent investigation is that as a private corruption fighter I am sometimes called on to speak truth to power. I was one of the first, and perhaps the only, person to question whether the governor’s lurid conversations involving the replacement of Senator Obama’s seat amounted to a federal crime. As the crisis has unfolded, my initial analysis of the roles of the various players has been confirmed. I appeared before the Illinois Supreme Court and may have successfully helped to defeat the efforts of the Illinois Attorney General.

The so-called impeachment proceedings have deteriorated into a pre-determined lynch mob. To characterize the impeachment proceedings as your Motion To Disclose does as an impartial “investigative” operation is elevating form over substance.

The impeachment proceeding is nothing more than politics as usual in Illinois. There is jockeying for public office, and there are efforts to advance political agendas. House Speaker Madigan is openly seeking to advance the political fortunes of his daughter, Attorney General Madigan. And so it goes.

I believe, therefore, that releasing redacted documents to the impeachment committee alone would unnecessarily embroil your office in politics. For obvious reasons your office wants to remain far above even the remotest appearance of tipping the political scales for or against a potential defendant.

In addition, as my motion to broaden the scope of your disclosures indicates, I believe that more needs to be disclosed to place all of the governor’s actions in context. I am particularly interested in writing about the dispute between the Governor and the U. S. Senate majority leader as to whether racial discrimination was suggested by Senator Harry Reid in a recorded phone call on December 3rd.

Because of the brazen nature of the impeachment committee’s actions, and the lack of any of any bona fide law enforcement or investigative purpose, I would ask that you support my motion to make all tapes involving the Governor since November 4, 2008 public records. I believe the Court has the inherent power to do so.

I am available to discuss my views with any member of your staff and to work together to achieve any reasonable accommodation. Please be advised that I am seeking public access on a First Amendment basis so that I may review and write about the ongoing Blagojevich/Obama controversy.

I will be attempting to obtain a fax number for Chief Judge Holderman so I may fax this letter and motions to him before the 2:00 P.M. hearing today.

Respectfully submitted,

ANDY MARTIN

AM:sp

W/encl.

cc: Hon. James Holderman via fax (312)
Edward Genson, Esq. via fax (312) 939-3654
David Ellis, Esq. via fax (17) 557-7599

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
EASTERN DIVISION

No. 08 CR 1010
Chief Judge Holderman

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

v.

ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, et al.

NOTICE OF MOTION [ON WRITTEN SUBMISSION]

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on Monday, January 5, 2009, at 2:00 P.M., I will appear (in writing) before Chief Judge James Holderman in Courtroom 2541 at the United stats Courthouse, 219 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois, and present the accompanying motions on written submission, copies of which are attached and hereby served on you.

Respectfully submitted,

ANDY MARTIN
NATIONAL LITIGATION CENTER
P. O. Box 1851
New York, NY 10150-1851
Toll-free tel. (866) 706-2639
Toll-free fax (866) 707-2639
E-mail: AndyMart20@aol.com (text only)

ADDITIONAL COURTESY COPY REQUESTED TO:

ANDY MARTIN
REGIONAL LITIGATION SUPPORT
30 E. Huron Street, Suite 4406
Chicago, IL 60611-4723

SERVICE OF NOTICES IS RESPECTFULLY
REQUESTED BY FAX OR E-MAIL

Additional e-mail address
available upon request

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I certify I have served this document as follows:

United States Attorney by fax to (312) 353-2067
Edward Genson, Esq. by fax to (312) 939-3654
David Ellis, Esq. by fax to (217) 557-7599

ANDY MARTIN

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
EASTERN DIVISION

No. 08 CR 1010

Chief Judge Holderman

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

v.

ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, et al.

MOTION TO DISCLOSE COMPLETE AND UNREDACTED
TELEPHONE RECORDS [ON WRITTEN SUBMISSION]

1. Relief sought. Movant undersigned Andy Martin moves the Court to broaden the disclosure of recorded telephonic records as currently sought by the United States in a “Motion to Disclose” dated December 29, 2008 to include all recorded telephone conversations (and transcripts thereof) of Governor Rod Blagojevich since November 4, 2008, and, in particular a conversation with U. S. Senator Harry Reid on or about December 3, 2008.
2. The Court’s power. In addition to any statutory authority conferred on the court to disclose official records, the Court has an inherent power and constitutional duty to order disclosure where the interests of justice so require. This power and duty exist a fortiori where complete or expanded disclosure is necessary to make a full and complete disclosure, to fully inform the public, and to avoid a potential fraud on the public arising through the release of selective records which might present an incomplete and self-serving picture of the information being released by the judiciary. All of the foregoing factors are applicable to the United States’ current motion.
3. The Movant’s standing and status. For more than forty (40) years movant undersigned has been Illinois’ leading private corruption fighter, exposing official and political corruption in local and state and federal governmental operations. Movant has become the subject of some notoriety because of his incessant “good government” efforts, particularly those directed at corruption and abuse in the courts. Movant is currently publisher of an Internet newspaper, ContrarianCommentary.com, which researches and publishes local, state, federal and worldwide news. The Blagojevich/Obama/Reid/Burris controversy is a major worldwide story. And, in keeping with movant’s reputation, he has been attacked by mainstream media, and by the subjects of his investigative analysis and commentary, for exposing the embarrassing truths about issues as widespread as mismanagement of U.S. policy in Iraq to the religion and family/friendship associations of Senator Barack Obama, see ContrarianCommentary.com; contrariancommentary.wordpress.com, ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com.
4. The United States’ current motion.
a. The pending motion. The United States has asked his Court for permission to disclose information to a committee of the Illinois House of Representatives. It is movant’s view that the “special committee” is a preordained and politically controlled de facto lynch mob, and that the special committee is in no way meets the statutory criteria as an impartial, independent and bona fide investigative agency. However, rather than quibble over whether the special committee is bona fide, movant believes that expanded disclosure might cure any defects in the United States’ pending motion. The special committee is in fact a political being with a political agenda; it exits. Therefore, this Court should tread carefully in opening the door to edited disclosures to such a politically-charged organization. The Illinois Supreme Court recently rejected an effort by a family member of the convener of the special committee to involve the Illinois Supreme Court in the ongoing political controversy, see attached Exhibit 1. Movant appeared in that proceeding. [The presiding officer of the Illinois House and the Illinois Attorney General are father and daughter.]
b. The potential for unavoidable prejudice. If this Court were to grant the United States’ motion, highly edited and highly selective information would become the subject of sensational front-page headlines in local and statewide, as well as national newspapers and other media, see Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333, 86 S.Ct. 1507 (1966). Any potential jury pool could and would be irretrievably tainted. The bogus petition filed by the Attorney General before the Illinois Supreme Court received national notoriety despite the facial lack of any arguable merit to the legal claims contained in the General’s filing and its summary denial by the Illinois Supreme Court (Exhibit 1). An even bigger media “circus” would attend disclosure of the taps and transcripts currently sought for release in the pending motion by the U. S. Therefore, if there is to be any release by this Court, that release must be tempered by balance, fairness and, most of all, completeness. In movant’s opinion, public disclosure of complete records alleviates the taint of selective disclosure.
c. The core of the controversy. The United states’ motion makes reference to investigations of long standing. Movant has no quarrel with those old claims. They have not generated the notoriety in the current dispute. Rather the sensationalism has been triggered by the alleged “sale” of a U. S. Senate seat. That controversy is continuing and passing to the national stage, with efforts to defeat what movant believes is the lawful appointment of Roland Burris to the vacant seat.
d. Movant’s solution is complete disclosure. Movant asks the Court to direct the disclosure of unredacted tapes involving any and all conversations involving Governor Blagojevich’s voice since November 4, 2008. With full release, any taint would come from the content of the tapes themselves, and not from redaction and manipulation of the tape library. For example, Governor Blagojevich accused the U. S. Senate Majority leader of what amounted to a racially discriminatory telephone call, see Exhibit 2. The majority leader has responded by calling Blagojevich a liar, Exhibits 3-4. What is the truth of what took place on December 3rd? Only the tapes will tell.
e. Selective release invites judicial error. It is apodictic that edited or redacted release of select tapes and conversations will of necessity result in release of highly prejudicial snippets without the full context and detail of the ongoing conversations. A “report” by Senator Obama’s staff stated that there had been limited contact by Representative Rahm Emanuel and the Governor’s office; others claimed over a dozen contacts. Once again, if the Court directs release of the full tapes and transcripts of all of the tapes with the Governor’s voice on them since November 4th, there can be no controversy over manipulation of selected, self-serving portions of the tapes. The Court stays above the fray by directing full and complete release. The pending motion by the United States’ is an invitation to controversy involving judicial action, prosecutorial action and political manipulation of the federal criminal process. There is no reason for this Court to willingly fall into such a trap.
5. The interests of justice. The interest of justice, the judicial system and the public interest clearly mandate full and complete release of any tapes since November 4, 2008 which have the Governor’s voice on them. Only full and complete release can satisfy the appearance of fairness and justice cf. Berger v. U. S.,295 U.S. 78, 88, 55 S. Ct. 629 (1935).
Respectfully submitted,

ANDY MARTIN
NATIONAL LITIGATION CENTER
P. O. Box 1851
New York, NY 10150-1851
Toll-free tel. (866) 706-2639
Toll-free fax (866) 707-2639
E-mail: AndyMart20@aol.com (text only)

ADDITIONAL COURTESY COPY REQUESTED TO:

ANDY MARTIN
REGIONAL LITIGATION SUPPORT
30 E. Huron Street, Suite 4406
Chicago, IL 60611-4723

SERVICE OF NOTICES IS RESPECTFULLY
REQUESTED BY FAX OR E-MAIL

Additional e-mail address
Available upon request

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I certify I have served this document as follows:

United States Attorney by fax to (312) 353-2067
Edward Genson, Esq. by fax to (312) 939-3654
David Ellis, Esq. by fax to (217) 557-7599

ANDY MARTIN

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One Comment
  1. Cris permalink

    Hi! I thought altering evidence was a crime;
    and isn’t
    redacting
    evidence the same as altering it?

    Also, Feb. 8, 2009
    http://publish.indymedia.org/en/2009/02/920620.shtml
    “We, the People v President Barack Hussein Obama”
    People v President Obama

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