Thursday, July 3, 2014

No. 000049 Will Rod Blagojevich Be Spared? - Natasha Korecki - POLITICO Magazine

Will Rod Be Spared? - Natasha Korecki - POLITICO Magazine: has an important piece on a forgotten news story, the appeal of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Blagojevich stared right at me.
“Good luck keeping your integrity in your profession,” he said in a tone thick with condescension. Then, pausing for effect: “Really, good luck.”
Does a man that honest about journalist belong in prison? Soon he may be free. 
During appellate arguments, which I watched in December, U.S. Appeals Judge Frank Easterbrook, formerly the chief judge of the panel, grilled government attorneys on some of the basics of the case. It was almost jarring to watch justices question the very essence of charges that had been under a public microscope for five years. Easterbrook appeared incredulous after asking if prosecutors could cite “any criminal conviction in U.S. history” other than Blagojevich’s in which a politician was convicted for trying to trade one job for another.
“I’m aware of none,” responded prosecutor Debra Bonamici.
“Where is the line that differentiates legal horse-trading from a federal offense that puts you in prison?” another appeals judge, Illana Rovner, asked.
It wasn't that cut and dried, Bonamici said. The jury concluded Blagojevich was trying to obtain more than a job. Still, it was clear the appeals judges had issues with fundamental aspects of the case.
Read more:

You tell me, is the following a crime?

A and B agree to form a political party. B says to A, I will give you $10,000 for your campaign if you promise to appoint me a judge, if elected.  As a judge, I can rule on issues important to us.

Or, isn't this the essence of political freedom?