The incoming Attorney General, Eric Holder, appears to have omitted a little contact he had with Blagojevich when he filled out a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire. A questionnaire that was answered AFTER the arrest of Blagojevich mind you:
Before Eric Holder was President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to be attorney general, he was Gov. Blagojevich’s pick to sort out a mess involving Illinois’ long-dormant casino license.
Blagojevich and Holder appeared together at a March 24, 2004, news conference to announce Holder’s role as “special investigator to the Illinois Gaming Board” — a post that was to pay Holder and his Washington, D.C. law firm up to $300,000.
Holder, however, omitted that event from his 47-page response to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire made public this week — an oversight he plans to correct after a Chicago Sun-Times inquiry, Obama’s transition team indicated late Tuesday.~~~
Holder signed the questionnaire on Sunday — five days after Blagojevich’s arrest for allegedly putting Obama’s U.S. Senate seat up for sale. The Judiciary Committee asked him to provide lists and “copies of transcripts or tape recordings of all speeches or talks delivered by you” and “all interviews you have given to newspapers, magazines or other publications.”
The Obama camp’s response? He forgot.
It couldn’t be because Holder was hired to ensure that the interests of one Tony Rezko and Blagojevich…something he wants the public to just plain forget:
The March 2004 Chicago news conference where Holder and Blagojevich spoke was widely covered because of a controversial 4-1 Gaming Board vote earlier that month to allow a casino to be built in Rosemont. That vote defied the recommendation of the board’s staff, which had raised concerns about alleged organized-crime links to the Rosemont casino’s developer.
Besides that, the Gaming Board’s staff had been concerned that the governor had named his close friend and fund-raiser, Christopher G. Kelly, as a “special government agent” to be involved in official state negotiations about the casino. Kelly, the Sun-Times later learned, was a business partner of Tony Rezko, another Blagojevich fund-raiser who had held an option to lease a hotel site next to the proposed casino site in Rosemont.~~~
In an interview Tuesday, the Gaming Board’s chief investigator in 2004 said the timing of Blagojevich’s appointment of Holder raised the staff’s suspicions.
“The concern was Holder had a bias to do whatever Blagojevich wanted, which was to give the casino to Rosemont,” said Jim Wagner, who was a top Chicago FBI agent before he joined the Gaming Board, from which he retired in December 2005. “We all believed the only reason Holder was coming in was to fashion an investigation that would manipulate the casino into Rosemont.”
Wagner also said the matter should be explored by the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It ought be brought up and vetted totally as to what motivated him to leave it off” the questionnaire, Wagner said.
I’m telling ya, Obama sure knows how to pick them eh? Fact is Blago was happy to appoint Holder to ensure his interests were taken care of. Not to mention Rezko.
And Obama was happy to appoint Holder to AG.
That tells us volumes about Obama once again.