Len Goodman’s latest Op-Ed in the Washington Examiner.

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I don’t support Trump, but don’t rely on sketchy Robert Mueller to boot him from office

I am not a Trump supporter, but a hard-core leftie who supported Green and Justice Party candidates in the past two presidential elections. Yet I stand with supporters of President Trump in their distrust of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

We make a grave mistake when we surrender our democracy to federal bureaucrats like Mueller, no matter how reasonable and fair-minded they may seem. The men and women who rise to the top jobs at the FBI, CIA, and the Pentagon understand that their true masters are not the people, but money and power — and they are not above partisan politics and careerism.

Mueller was the FBI director who, in February 2003, went before Congress to help the Bush administration sell the Iraq war, repeating administration talking points about weapons of mass destruction. Scores of people have died in Iraq. But many others grew rich during the past 15 years of perpetual war, and Mueller’s career continued to advance.

Mueller is not alone. Here in Chicago, we had U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who was always willing to bend the rules to serve political ends and career advancement. I have observed this firsthand in two cases where I defended the accused in federal court.

First, in 2013, Fitzgerald’s prosecutors were chastised by our ultraconservative, pro-prosecution federal appellate court for lying in order to convict a longtime resident of a Chicago housing project of being part of large-scale drug-selling network, a crime that could have gotten my client a life sentence. Despite these undisputed and unexplained findings of misconduct, Fitzgerald imposed no sanction on the lying prosecutors, sending the clear message that it is okay to lie if you are on the side of the government.

Another victim of Fitzgerald’s win-at-all-costs careerism is former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, D-Ill. In pursuing Blagojevich, Fitzgerald followed the same mandate given to special counsel Mueller: We all know this guy is dirty, find a way to take him down.

Blagojevich was placed under intensive federal investigation for nearly the entirety of his five years in office. Paid informants were used to obtain extensive wiretapping of every private conversation between the governor and his family members and subordinates. These recordings show that Blagojevich never enriched himself or his family in office; he never asked for a bribe or a kickback, and he never took a penny from his campaign fund. Contrary to the many lies told about him by federal prosecutors, Blagojevich never promised anything to any prospective donor in exchange for a campaign contribution.

To convict Blagojevich and send him to prison for 14 years, a sentence that even his political enemies find draconian, Fitzgerald’s prosecutors literally re-wrote the law, which had previously set a high bar to convict a politician of “extortion” based on requests for campaign contributions which, of course, are part of the job of a politician in our system of privately financed election campaigns.

My point is that it is dangerous to rely on the machinery of federal law enforcement to remove an elected leader, no matter how much fear and hatred that leader might provoke in others, especially in the establishment figures. In their eyes, Trump is not a reliable steward of money and power. Sure, he has lowered corporate taxes and reduced regulation. But still he is not trusted. Too often, he speaks out of turn and fails to follow the establishment line, like when during the campaign he called out the liars in the Bush administration and the CIA who brought us to war in Iraq. Or like when he now threatens to make peace with Russia or North Korea, contrary to the interests of the weapons makers and war merchants who rely on continued hostility with these nations to justify trillion-dollar war budgets.

If you hate and fear Trump, vote him out of office in 2020. But don’t delegate the job to bureaucrats in the Department of Justice.

Leonard Goodman is a Chicago criminal defense lawyer and Adjunct Professor of Law at DePaul University.

Read the Op-Ed in the Washington Examiner.

Len Goodman and Patti Blagojevich on “Beyond the Beltway” with Bruce DuMont

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WGN TV “SCOTUS reviewing Blagojevich’s appeal today”

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CHICAGO — A decision Friday could help former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich get out of prison.

The U.S. Supreme Court is meeting to decide if it’s going to take up the case of the former governor.

 

 

CLICK THE LINK AND SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO:

http://wgntv.com/2018/04/13/scotus-reviewing-blagojevichs-appeal-today/

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Blagojevich Reply Brief filed in the US Supreme Court

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Click Here to Read the Blagojevich Petition for Writ of Certiorari Reply 3-2018

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Read the Blagojevich Petition for Rehearing HERE

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rod+blagojevich+2017FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_01FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_02FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_03FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_04FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_05FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_06FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_07FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_08FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_09FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_10FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_11FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_12FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_13FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_14FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_15FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_16FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_17FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_18FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_19FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_20FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016_Page_21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

READ THE PETITION HERE:

FILED REHEARING BLAGO 2016

Watch Len Goodman’s Interview with Phil Rogers of NBC Chicago “Blagojevich Marks 5 Years Behind Bars.”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 10.23.16 AMhttp://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Blagojevich-Marks-5-Years-Behind-Bars-416282343.html

 

 

 

Update on Len Goodman Client Shawali Khan’s Case from Courthouse News Service

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Sympathy but No Court Win for Released Detainee

WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge agreed with the United States that freeing a man from Guantanamo Bay after 12 years without charges mooted his legal challenge.

Shawali Khan was repatriated to Afghanistan in December 2014, but the former detainee claims to suffer ongoing harm from having been designated as a member of Hezb-e-Islami, an al-Qaida and Taliban affiliate.

For one, the Afghan government seized the deeds to his family’s fruit orchard when he was captured in 2002. Khan argues that a successful outcome in Washington with his petition for habeas relief would help him persuade the Afghan government to return that land.

Khan also says Afghan government officials provided The New York Times and CNN with his photo, after which both identified him as Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim, a recruiter for the Islamic State group in Afghanistan whom the United States killed in an airstrike.

Lastly, travel restrictions that Khan faces from the Afghan government prevent him from going to India where he can be treated for hearing loss he sustained from “loud blaring music” while in CIA custody, before he got to Guantanamo.

U.S. District Judge John Bates voiced sympathy but found the alleged injuries too speculative to warrant the court’s jurisdiction.

“Even if the court assumes that these instances of mistaken identity were caused by Khan’s detention at Guantánamo Bay, any reputational harm that flows from that is not ‘susceptible to judicial correction,'” the Oct. 25 ruling states.

Looking specifically at Khan’s inability to get a passport from the Afghan government, Bates said his hands are tied.

“The court is sympathetic to the pickle in which Khan seemingly finds himself: he is unable to receive medical treatment for injuries allegedly sustained while in U.S. custody because of his history of being held in U.S. custody,” the 10-page ruling states. “However, this injury is not redressable by a federal court.”

Bates acknowledged that there is increasing evidence of harms Guantanamo detainees experience from their detention. In the ruling, the judge cited a recent New York Times article detailing mental health issues plaguing some former detainees.

Discussing the ruling in an interview, J. Wells Dixon with the Center for Constitutional Rights said he found this interesting.

“The District Court acknowledges that with the passage of time there is ever more evidence of the harm caused by the stigma of Guantanamo,” Dixon said. “That’s unique. That is a judicial recognition of actual harm to these men simply by having been detained at Guantanamo. The problem is, the government manipulated the proceedings in this case in order to avoid a ruling that might have favored Mr. Khan.”

Neither Khan’s attorney, Leonard Goodman, nor the Justice Department opted to comment on Tuesday’s ruling.

Bates has been presiding over Khan’s habeas claims for years — upholding the man’s detention in 2009, once more in 2010 and again in September 2014.

Khan won his release in December 2014 after the government disclosed information to his attorneys.

The United States argued that freeing Khan mooted his habeas case.

Bates declined to address whether the government’s “delay in disclosing exculpatory evidence could ever defeat mootness.”

“Here, it is sufficient to note that the government appears to have made a good faith effort to keep the court and Khan’s counsel informed about new evidence as it became available,” the ruling states. “Thus, even if the court were to assume that an intentional delay could defeat mootness in some circumstances, it certainly does not do so here.”

When the D.C. Circuit upheld Khan’s habeas denial in 2011, the judge who signed the unanimous opinion was future Supreme Court nominee Merrrick Garland.

Dixon with the Center for Constitutional Rights said the use of that secret evidence still matters.

“If the government had not withheld evidence for so many years, and if the case had not been decided on the basis of secret evidence initially, then the case might have been decided differently, and Shawali Khan might have been released with a court ruling clearing his name,” Dixon said in an interview.

Read the Story on Courthouse News:

http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/10/28/sympathy-but-no-court-win-for-released-detainee.htm

Blagojevich Sentencing Memorandum Filed – Read it Here

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Pages from sentencing memo blago

 

Rod Blagojevich Sentencing Memorandum

Blagojevich Sentencing Memo Letters

READ THE BLAGOJEVICH SUPREME COURT REPLY BRIEF

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Blagojevich v United States -- cert reply (FINAL) (March 8, 2016)_Page_01Blagojevich v United States — cert reply (FINAL) (March 8, 2016)

7th Circuit Court of Appeals Victory in United States v. Brian Wilbourn

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Wilbourn_Opinion_Page_01

 

 

 

Click Here to Read: Wilbourn_Opinion

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