Wall Street Journal Calls For Fitzgerald Resignation
By Andrew Ramonas | August 19, 2010 2:39 pm

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The Wall Street Journal editorial board on Thursday called for the ouster of Patrick Fitzgerald over his handling of the mostly unsuccessful prosecution against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Patrick Fitzgerald (DOJ)

A federal jury in Chicago on Tuesday found the disgraced ex-governor guilty on one count of making false statements to federal agents. The jurors were deadlocked on the 23 other counts against Blagojevich, including the charge that he tried to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

Fitzgerald said at a December 2008 news conference that the charges “would make Lincoln roll over in his grave,” before pursuing an aggressive case against the former governor.

The editorial board wrote that Fitzgerald’s behavior “more and more suggests another unaccountable federal prosecutor run amok.”

“If Mr. Fitzgerald doesn’t resign of his own accord, the Justice Department should remove him—especially after such other recent examples of prosecutorial bad faith or bad judgment involving Blackwater contractors in Iraq, the forgotten backdating accounting scandal and the late Senator Ted Stevens,” the editorial board wrote.

The U.S. Attorney, who has led the Northern District of Illinois U.S. Attorney’s Office since 2001, is known for aggressive prosecutions against high-profile public figures, including I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the  national security adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney. He was convicted in 2007 on charges stemming from the disclosure of CIA officer’s identity, but his sentence was later commuted by then-President George W. Bush.

He also won a conviction in 2007 against Canadian media magnate Conrad Black on charges stemming from an illegal business deal. But Black was released from prison after the Supreme Court ruled that the “honest services” fraud charge in the case was too broad.

Fitzgerald said there will be a retrial in the Blagojevich case. The U.S. attorney’s office is almost ready to begin jury selection, and a judge scheduled a hearing on the subject for Aug. 26, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Sam Adam Sr., one of the ex-governor’s lawyers, said at a news conference on Tuesday that Fitzgerald is “nuts.”

“I wish this entire group would go upstairs and ask Fitzgerald one question: I understand he’s got an important job, but why are we spending 25 to 30 million dollars on a retrial? You couldn’t prove it the first time,” Sam Adam Jr., who is also representing Blagojevich, said Tuesday, according to the AP.

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One Comment

  1. jmoroney says:

    What a disgrace for an editorial, but I’ve come to expect that from a dying newspaper that spouts whatever crap Rush Limbaugh and his ilk spew. Pat Fitzgerald is a model for prosecutors. He gets a Chicago jury that votes 11-1 for conviction, and actually convicts on a five-year felony charge (want to bet that Blago is going to jail, even on that count alone?) and WSJ wants him fired. Of course these idiots are still mad that Fitzgerald convicted Cheney’s toady, Scooter Libby. Even Bush wouldn’t pardon that jerk, after the case put on by Fitzgerald. And Conrad Black: does it surprise you that the court that gave us a personal 2d Amendment right to bear arms (unrecognized for 200 years), and stopped the 2000 Florida recount, would strike down honest services fraud which has been a vital tool to convict that small remaining group of WSJ subscribers, corporate moguls and criminals.

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