Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blago verdict on one minor count

The trial of Rod Blagojevich just ended, and failed to convict on all the substantive charges. AP reports:
The count on which Blagojevich was convicted, one of the less serious counts against Blagojevich, included accusations that he lied to federal agents when he said he did not track campaign contributions and kept a "firewall" between political campaigns and government work.
This is another boondoggle from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. He claimed to have wiretaps to prove that Blago tried to sell Barack Obama's US Senate seat. Nearly everyone (but me) was impressed by Fitzgerald's case, and Blago was impeached and removed from office.

The weakness in the case was that the feds never found any evidence that Blago every took a dime in a corrupt transaction.

Apparently Blago used the terms "track" and "firewall" loosely while he was defending himself. The statements were not even under oath. I don't like lying politicians any more than anyone else, but it seems to me that the conviction is on a rather trivial charge, compared to the media witchhunt that Fitzgerald orchestrated.

This is the same Fitzgerald who tried Scooter Libby on grand accusations of a White House conspiracy to punish political enemies who expose bad Iraq War policies. But Libby was also acquitted on all the substantive charges, and only convicted on making one minor misstatement of no consequence. Libby did not even have any obvious motive for the misstatement, and it appeared to be just a memory mistake.

The curious thing about Blago is how many people are persuaded of his corruption, without being able to say just what he did that was corrupt. I think that they are engaging in faulty mindreading.

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