Obama-Scam… The Rezko Trial Opens in Chi-Town

Indicted Tony Rezko has been a major supporter of the suffering Obama’s.

The $1.6 million Obama home in Chicago sits next to the Rezko lot. (CBS2)
CBS2 Chicago still has video posted on the Obama house deal from a November 2006 report.

The Rezko Trial opens today.
Barack Obama may be called in as a witness for the Defense.

John Fund has a report on this filthy case of Chicago corruption at The Wall Street Journal today:

…Mr. Obama admits that he and Mr. Rezko took a tour of the house before it and the adjoining plot were sold. Financial records given to federal prosecutors a year later show Mrs. Rezko had a salary of only $37,000 and assets of $35,000. In court proceedings at that time, to explain how much his bail should be, Mr. Rezko declared that he had “no income, negative cash flow, no liquid assets.”

So where did the money for Mrs. Rezko’s $125,000 down payment — and the collateral for her $500,000 loan from a local bank controlled by Amrish Mahajan, like Mr. Rezko a Chicago political fixer — come from?

The London Times reports that, three weeks before the land transactions, Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi billionaire living in London, loaned $3.5 million to Mr. Rezko, who was his Chicago business partner. Mr. Auchi’s office says he had “no involvement in or knowledge of” the property purchase. Mr. Auchi is a press-shy property developer (estimated worth: $4 billion) who was convicted of corruption in France in 2003 for his involvement in the Elf affair, the biggest political and corporate fraud inquiry in Europe since World War II. He was fined $3 million and given a 15-month prison term that was suspended provided he committed no further crimes.

Mr. Auchi was also a top official in the Iraqi oil ministry in the 1970s. He has for years vigorously denied charges he had dealings with Saddam Hussein after the first Gulf War. However, an official report to the Pentagon inspector general in 2004 obtained by the Washington Times cited “significant and credible evidence” of involvement by Mr. Auchi’s companies in the Oil for Food scandal and illicit smuggling of weapons to the Hussein regime.

In 2003, Mr. Auchi began investing in Chicago real estate with Mr. Rezko. In April 2007, after his indictment, Mr. Auchi loaned another $3.5 million to Mr. Rezko, a loan that Mr. Rezko hid from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office. When Mr. Fitzgerald learned that the money was being parceled out to Mr. Rezko’s lawyers, family and friends, he got Mr. Rezko’s bond revoked in January and had him put in jail as a potential flight risk.

In court papers, the prosecutor noted that Mr. Rezko had traveled 26 times to the Middle East between 2002 and 2006, mostly to his native Syria and other countries that lack extradition treaties with the U.S. Curiously, Mr. Auchi has also lent an unknown sum of money to Chris Kelly, who, like Mr. Rezko, was a significant fund-raiser for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (himself under investigation by a federal grand jury as an alleged beneficiary of the Rezko shakedowns). Mr. Kelly is himself under indictment for obstructing an IRS probe into his activities.

Mr. Obama says he has “no recollection” of meeting Mr. Auchi during a 2004 trip the billionaire made to Chicago, and no one believes he knew of his background…

Mr. Auchi was also a donor to the Obama campaign:

The Panamanian company Fintrade Services SA lent money to Mr Obama’s fundraiser in May 2005. Fintrade’s directors include Ibtisam Auchi, the name of Mr Auchi’s wife. Mr Auchi’s spokesman declined to respond to a question about whether he was linked to this business.

Then there’s this… During his 12 years in politics, Sen. Barack Obama has received nearly three times more campaign cash from indicted businessman Tony Rezko and his associates than he has publicly acknowledged- Sun-Times.

Mr. Auchi with Illinois Democratic Governor Blagojevich, via Illinoize.

This Chicago trial reeks already.
It will be interesting to see if the Golden Boy comes out of this one unscathed.
Or, if anyone in Illinois comes out of this standing.

The New Editor offers cliffsnotes: 7 Things to Know About the Rezko Trial.

Rezko Watch has all of the latest news on the case.
Hat Tip BG

UPDATE: Via Instapundit, Obama survived a surprisingly hostile press conference.

HotAir has more on Obama stalking out of today’s press conference.

Related… Martin Kramer today has a must read piece on Obama’s anti-Israel policy advisor Samantha Power, via LGF.

UPDATE 2: FOX News embedded blogger Bonnie Kapp has video of Obama’s Chicago press conference yesterday.

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