Rezko was convicted on 16 of 24 felony charges involving fraud and kickback schemes.
Said Zagel via the Tribune:
It’s still not certain whether Rezko will testify, but at a hearing before testimony resumed today, U.S. District Judge James Zagel strongly suggested that Rezko would make a lousy government witness.At issue is a letter written to Blagojevich by Rezko while the latter was in jail. The letter allegedly states federal officials were pressuring Rezko to make up stories against Blagojevich.
Zagel said there was a word to describe witnesses like Rezko who damage whatever side calls them to testify. That, said Zagel, “generally explains why they’re not called.” Zagel refrained from actually saying what the word was, leaving the suggestion it was less than polite.
It is at minimum very curious that Zagel would recommend that prosecutors not call Rezko in light of one of the phone conversations between Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff, John Harris earlier in the trial. In that recording, Blagojevich said the following - found on page 17 of 49 on lines 32-34:
32 ...compared toListen to the actual recording HERE.
33 even Obama, you know, I believe I'm more
34 pristine on Rezko than him.
It strikes me that if the prosecution were not concerned about protecting Obama but in convicting Blagojevich, they would want Rezko's testimony based on those statements. When Blago said he's more "pristine on Rezko", it inherently meant that he was at least somewhat dirty when it came to Rezko. Is the prosecution contemplating avoiding Rezko not because he couldn't help them get a conviction of Blago but because he could expose Obama's level of involvement.
Read it all.