The suggestion that Bob Kjellander was working with Rove to have Fitz fired is not new.
In a hearing before court began, prosecutors said they hoped to call Ali Ata, the former Blagojevich administration official who pleaded guilty to corruption yesterday, to the stand.
Assistant U.S. Atty. Carrie Hamilton said she believed Ata would testify to conversations Ata had with his political patron, Rezko, about working to pull strings to kill the criminal investigation into Rezko and others when it was in its early stages in 2004.
"[Ata] had conversations with Mr. Rezko about the fact that Mr. Kjellander was working with Karl Rove to have Mr. Fitzgerald removed," Hamilton told U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve.
Back in the days when there was question whether Fitzgerald would be ousted in 2006 (before the USA purge broke), Chicago commentators regularly noted how badly Chicago pols–and Kjellander in particular–wanted to see Fitzgerald gone.
And there’s good reason to think he might be [fired], aside from the president’s non-assurance. One of the chief practitioners of Illinois establishment politics is Republican operative Bob Kjellander, who brags (whether true or not) about his friendship with Bush chief political strategist, Karl Rove. Despite Kjellander’s engineering Bush defeats in Illinois and other Midwest states, the White House (Rove?) thought he was pretty hot stuff and brought him to the Beltway where he is engineering who knows what political disaster.
Kjellander also will be credited with the coming GOP election disaster in Illinois, thanks to his help in selecting state Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka to run against incumbent Blagojevich. She’s a dear lady, a treasured "moderate," but not a gusty independent willing to stand up to the political establishment.
The point is that Kjellander (pronounced Shelander), a Republican national committeeman who has received $800,000 in unexplained fees through a state bond-borrowing deal engineered by Democrat Blagojevich, is no fan of Fitzgerald’s either. No one, in other words, in the political establishment in Chicago or Washington, is pushing for Fitzgerald’s reappointment. [my emphasis]
And after news broke last year that Fitzgerald had been on the firing list, at least one Chicago commentator predicted that Kjellander was the reason, and not the Plame case. Read more