The White House Rasputin, Karl "The Architect" Rove, also was mentioned in the trial, as was former House Speaker Dennis "Don’t Ask Me About My Land Deal" Hastert, alleged to have been part of an effort by the bipartisan Illinois Combine to get rid of Fitzgerald. To demonstrate their kinship, Cellini and Rezko flew out to Washington on a play date and visited a White House reception with President Bush, where Kjellander joined them.
Later in the Rezko trial, two witnesses said that Rezko told them not to worry about the criminal investigation, because the Republicans—Rove and Kjellander—would get rid of Fitzgerald. Hastert would install a friendly federal puppy who wouldn’t bother the Combine, according to the testimony. "The federal prosecutor will no longer be the same federal prosecutor," testified Elie Maloof, a Rezko associate who is now a cooperating witness.
And a state pension board lawyer who has already pleaded guilty told grand jurors that Cellini told him "Bob Kjellander’s job is to take care of the U.S. attorney."
The Illinois Republican Party holds its own convention this week in Decatur. The party establishment, which has long been cozy with the Daley Democrats at City Hall, has done little or nothing to rid the Illinois GOP of Kjellander and Cellini influence.
"If I owe a response [about the putsch to remove him from his job], I owe it to Congress, first," Fitzgerald said when asked about all this after the verdict. [my emphasis]
Well, now that you mention it, Fitz, I seem to recall that Congress did ask you questions about this issue–questions that you obliquely passed on because of an ongoing criminal trial.
But that’s not the version of the "what if you got fired" question that I find most interesting. Rather, there’s a question that asks specifically if Fitzgerald became aware of efforts to fire him during the course of the CIA Leak investigation. Fizgerald refuses to answer … because of the ongoing Rezko case.
During the CIA leak investigation, were you aware of any conversations that you might be asked to resign? If so please describe all such conversations, including the substance of the conversations, when they occurred, and the names of those who participated.
I do not know if the referenced account of events is correct or not.
As to whether I was aware during the relevant time period of the investigation that I might be asked to resign, I will respectfully decline to discuss matters currently at issue in a trial ongoing in the Northern District of Illinois.
Fitzgerald is referring, of course, to the multiple times during the Rezko trial when a witness has testified that Rezko and Bob Kjellander talked about having Rove fire Fitzgerald to scuttle the investigation into Chicago corruption. But that’s not, of course, what HJC asked him–they asked him about the CIA Leak case, and they made a reference specifically to coverage of the USA Purge.
Let’s see. Fitz "respectfully decline[s] to discuss matters currently at issue in a trial ongoing." The trial is over. And on the day the trial ends, Fitz says, "I owe Congress" a response about Kjellander’s and Rove’s efforts to get him fired???
I’m reading that message loud and clear, Chairman Conyers. Are you?